Most parents, guardians and grandparents are very concerned about how their children are developing emotionally and intellectually. A lot of emphasis is put on overall development but crucial aspects of health get neglected and overlooked. One of them is dental hygiene.
With westernization and increased accessibility to junk food, kids are overdosing on chocolates, sweets and junk food. A recent American survey has purported that 40% of children between the ages of 2 and 4 are likely to get affected by tooth decay. The statistics are pretty abysmal. Hence the child’s oral hygiene becomes a very important aspect of the child’s development.
Here are some tips to help inculcate good oral hygiene in the child.
Dental Health Guide for Children
Get to know all you can about the children’s dentistry. Good dental hygiene starts right from infancy when the child’s first tooth appears. Wiping your child’s gums with a soft and wet cloth after meals will prevent the build up of bacteria. Once the full set of teeth appear, teach the child how to brush his own teeth. This is very important once the child starts kindergarten. Once your child starts preschool, you can start using fluoride toothpaste. Just a peanut size amount of toothpaste should suffice in cleaning the gums.
Dealing with Cavities
Kids love to gorge on sugary foods and hence cavities become very common. These are exacerbated by chocolates and aerated drinks. Encourage the child to rinse his/her mouth twice a day and brush his/her teeth twice daily to prevent the incidence of cavities. Take your child to the dentist every year and have the dentist show you the correct way of brushing the teeth. Limit the amount of sugary foods that your child consumes and have him/her eat teeth healthy snacks like vegetables, fruits, curd, cheese and crackers. Daily flossing is also very important to prevent tooth decay. Keep brushing the child’s teeth until he/she is able to do it on his/her own.
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Nutrition is also very important in keeping gums and teeth healthy. Have your child eat calcium rich foods like milk, cheese and other forms of dairy for strong teeth and gums. Make sure your child eats breakfast as that will prevent the child from binging on unhealthy snacks. Start educating the child right from an early age about the importance of dental hygiene through board games, books and puzzles so that it becomes fun and interesting for the child.
The American Dental Association recommends that the child be taken for his/her first visit to the dentist by the time he/she is one. This will enable the dentist to check the child’s teeth for cavities and other dental problems. The dentist should help you to review areas like brushing of teeth, the use of baby bottles, teethers and pacifiers and the use of fluoride tooth paste. Visiting the dentist at a young age will also make your child more comfortable with dental visits especially as he/she grows older. This also nips phobias in the bud.