Oral care is vital; whatever age you are. Looking after your teeth and gums will prevent a whole lot of different problems occurring, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
But getting into good oral care and dental hygiene habits at the youngest possible age is vital for two major reasons.
- Your child’s teeth are continually changing: With dental problems occurring when your child is still a baby, it is important that you consider their oral care as early as possible. Problems such as bottle or nursing decay can be very problematic to young babies as their teeth start to develop, and these problems can be carried through the child’s life right through adulthood.
As your child grows, so does their jaw, and with this, your child’s teeth will move around. Problems can occur when teeth are too close together, and it is important to get these realigned.
All of these problems that occur through youth need to be managed with good oral care.
- Good habits last a lifetime: Developing habits can take some time, and when your child learns a routine from the youngest possible age, they will be more likely to carry this right through their lives. Teaching your child about dental hygiene is something that needs to be done early on.
What Should Your Child Be Doing To To Maintain Good Dental Care?
Brushing Teeth Daily
One of the most important aspects of dental hygiene for your child will be them brushing their teeth. This should be done at least twice a day and for two minutes each time.
Use fluoride toothpaste when they brush as this will strengthen the enamel on your child’s teeth, and it will make it harder for acid to get through and cause long and lasting damage.
Make sure that your child is brushing all of their teeth equally. Many kids may end up brushing in one particular area for much of the time and may neglect the back teeth, or the insides.
You could help your child out by brushing your teeth at the same time. They’ll see you doing it and will see that it is something that everyone does, not just them.
Set a timer so that your child gets to brush their teeth for the right amount of time.
Find ways to reward your child and to make the experience enjoyable and positive for them. Use the time that they spend cleaning their teeth when they are particularly young as a good way of having fun with them. The more they associate the experience with joy, the more likely they are to keep up a routine as they grow older.
Teach children how to floss so that they get food out from the gaps in their teeth. When your children’s mouths are still growing, there may be gaps between teeth where pieces of food can be allowed to decay. Getting these out through flossing will prevent dental problems emerging.
Flossing is something that can be introduced as soon as your child has two teeth that are touching.
Again, remember to make this experience positive.
Dental Care For Babies
Dental care is important from birth. Even before your child has teeth, you should be cleaning inside their mouths to avoid bacteria building up.
Once your baby starts to develop teeth, you will need to clean these using an infant toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste.
Watching What Your Child Eats
Sugary foods and drinks can be very detrimental to your child’s dental health, and if they have too much sugar, it can cling to their teeth and ultimately lead to decay.
Limiting the number of sweets and sugary drinks your child consumes is vital. Look for sugar-free drinks as these are going to be healthier for their teeth.
Think about when they are eating sugary foods too. The longer the sugar is on their teeth, the worse it will be for them.
When your child is still a baby, avoid letting them sleep with the bottle in their mouth as this can cause tooth decay and lasting problems that they will carry through their lives. Similarly, sugary drinks or dipping the baby’s dummy in syrup can lead to the sugar staying on their teeth or gums and causing problems.
Visiting The Dentist
Of course, a trip to a kid’s dentist is vital so that a regular check can be made and problems identified. Your child’s dentist will be able to help with spotting issues before they become more significant problems, as well as providing treatment for and of their dental concerns.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give us a call. We hope you enjoyed our blog about good oral habits, we at Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry want your children to have healthy beautiful smiles! If you are ready to make your next appointment, you can do so on our website.