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Dental Hygiene 101: Caring For Your Child’s Teeth

What if your child gets a hairline fracture? You would rush to the Orthopaedic doctor right away, get the dressing done – crepe bandage or plaster to be specific, bear all due precautions so that there is no further assault to the injury and make your child rest for a faster recovery.

You would deal with such a blow or injury very seriously probably because you are well aware that even the slightest negligence would worsen the case. Ironically, you are way too ignorant about some bones of your child, that you let them rot slowly and gradually to appoint that your child has to undergo a surgery to stop the collateral damage. Puzzled? We are talking about the only visible bones in the human body – teeth.

We aren’t trying to awaken your guilty conscience, nor are we making any sweeping remarks. We are just trying to portray the fact that people at large aren’t aware or conscious about the importance of oral hygiene of their children, toddlers especially.

Those incessant cries of your child could probably be because of the cavity in his/her teeth or swollen gums. Quite often, the irritation caused by tooth decay or other problems is excused and comprehended as the child’s stubbornness. The worst part is that children don’t understand what their body is going through, and toddlers can’t even communicate what exactly they are feeling.

So, parents should bear extra precaution when it comes to the oral hygiene of the children. The consciousness of oral health is something that is instilled in the child from an early age. Some would argue that asking your children to brush their teeth is a hard nut to crack as children are very resilient toward it, but this could become a lot easier if the process is made more playful.

Help make dental hygiene fun with these tips:-

  • Allow children to choose their toothbrush. This would make them interested in the overall process of brushing teeth as they would be excited to see their favorite character on the brush.
  • Children are very selective. They are meticulous when it comes to flavor, but every child has his/her feeling, and this could be used to lure them into maintaining oral hygiene;

Choosing the toothpaste having the essence of their favorite character.

  • Make them read comics or watch videos which address dental hygiene.
  • Reward them for brushing their teeth in time. This incentivization would pay in the long run as the kids would become conscious of their oral health.
  • Children tend getting bored very early; their mental setup doesn’t allow them to engage in something meticulous or routine like brushing their teeth every time they go to bed. You could play their favorite tunes while they do so and make the process more interesting for them.
  • Plan a fun activity following your child’s dentist visit.

Path to improved health

The role of fluoride

Fluoride is quintessential to your child’s dental health. It is known for fighting off cavities in primary and permanent teeth. It strengthens the tooth enamel, thus fortifying teeth and making them harder to break.

Most of the cities in the US are required to add fluoride in tap water by the rule of law. Water purifiers such as Brita do not filter out fluoride and are okay to use.

If tap waters in your city do not contain fluoride, your child will quire oral fluoride supplements. Talk to the pediatric Dentist if your child needs one.

Excess of anything is terrible, and fluoride is no exception either. Too much fluoride can cause tooth stains. Direct intake of fluoride toothpaste may cause bowel problems.

Brushing and flossing

Dental hygiene should begin right from a tender age. A soft child-size toothbrush is available in the market which is designed for toddlers especially. When your child is of the age 1 or 2, you should brush your child’s teeth with water at least twice a day. You could use a small dab of toothpaste but make sure that it doesn’t contain fluoride.

Once your child is old enough to rinse his/her mouth or spit out the toothpaste, you can use the regular toothpaste for adults. Teach your child the right way to brush the teeth; the toothbrush should make repeated circles and spread out to gum and tongue gradually.

You child will need guidance while brushing teeth until he/she reaches 3rd grade. The toothbrush needs to be changed periodically or when the bristles start to worn out. Flossing is yet another essential part of oral care. It is particularly important to clean the gaps between the teeth or areas where bristles cannot reach effectively. Flossing should be done at least once a day.

Diet

Kids who eat a lot of candies, chocolates, and have soft drinks are at a high risk of developing cavities. It is important to avoid sugar not only from the oral health perspective but for the overall health as it shoots your calorie intake. If your child has had a candy, make sure that he/she rinses the mouth thoroughly. You should curb the consumption of sweets as your child’s appetite would get fed with it, and your child would barely eat on the dining table.

Chewing gum is safe for grown-up kids. It can provide benefits, such as:

  • Adding strength the jaw
  • Catalyzing the produce of saliva
  • Washing away bits of food
  • Nullifying acid that can cause tooth decay
  • Adding freshness to the breath.

Give your child sugar-free gums so that they can ditch the cavities while reaping the above-listed benefits of chewing gum.

Mouth safety 

Safety is, again, a big part of oral health. If your child plays a sport that could give them an injury on the face – the ones which involve tackling and dodging, then they should be asked to wear a mouthguard. The mouth guard is a soft plastic retainer that covers the teeth and lips. It shields your child from a plethora of injuries. Talk to your Dentist if you require a custom-fit mouthguard.

Orthodontic Treatment 

Baby teeth may start to appear as soon as four months. The children can lose their baby teeth by the age of 6 and as late as the age of 12. When children lose baby teeth, and the permanent ones start to grow, there exists a bit of hurly-burly inside the mouth. This is the most vulnerable time when it comes to oral health. Sometimes the baby teeth become stronger and don’t come off while the permanent ones start to pop out of the gums atop the baby teeth. This is where braces come in rally handy – realigning teeth and setting the foundations right for healthy adulthood.

When to see a doctor

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children visit a dentist just before the first birthday. This gives the Dentist a chance to monitor problems if any and also open the window of prolonged supervision as the Dentist is well aware of the child’s dentistry since the very start. Pediatric dentists specialize in treating children’s dental health. Much like the pediatric practitioner, they take decisions based on the early developments in a child’s body and carve a health plan after considering the allergies and other treatment to which their body responds negatively. The Dentist will guide you through you about oral care.

Visiting the Dentist from an infant age will help your child be more comfortable with such visits. It also establishes the good habit of regular dental checkups, which should ideally be twice a year.

Hygiene starts with the Dentist

You should take all the essential steps to ensure that your kids follow an oral hygiene schedule regularly. But it’s not going anywhere without a dentist’s visit. If you can’t decide which Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics to choose, go for Kids Happy Teeth. They’ll be more than happy to fix up your baby’s smile!


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