It is never to early to teach your kids the goodness of oral hygiene. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tooth decay is the most common disease that children face in the country. A healthy mouth will enable children to eat nutritious food comfortably and smile confidently. Tooth decay often hinders clear speech among children. To achieve this goal, they need help from their parents and must visit a dentist regularly.
Digestion starts with the mouth and as such oral health is the key component of general health. If oral hygiene is not maintained from an early age, it can cause tooth decay which adversely affects the overall health of the body. When it comes to oral hygiene, the basic principles are same while the tools may vary. So, what can you do to ensure that your kids have their best smile?
Infants and toddlers:
According to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, infants should never take a nap with a bottle inside their mouth containing anything except water. Feeding at night should also be stopped when teeth starts to emerge. This will ensure the formula present in the breast milk from not coming in contact with the newly developing teeth. It is never wrong to allow toddlers to brush their own teeth, but do make sure that parents too get their turn to do the job right. It is important for parents to teach their children the method of brushing the teeth properly. It is advisable to help the toddlers with brushing until they reach the age of 6.
It is also important to regularly floss the teeth. It is more convenient to use pre-loaded floss holders while teaching them this effective component of oral hygiene.
Children and teens
While infants and toddlers are easy to manage, such is not the scenario with children and infants. While they learn the basic rules of hygiene by the time they reach this age, it is still important to play a role in ensuring their oral health.
- Provide a healthy diet: Make sure that you do not forget to include fresh raw vegetables and fruits in their diet to ensure strong teeth. Drinks containing teeth eroding acid like soda must be banned from the refrigerator. Even the so called “energy drinks” contain tooth eroding acid and do more harm than good. Instead, take them out to drink fresh juices of orange or grapes.
- Make sure they see the dentist regularly: Children have their never–ending love for chocolates and as such it is not possible to take care of their teeth without the help of a professional.Routine teeth checkups and dental exam is good for teeth health. Children develop cavities and plaques easily because of their “sweet tooth”. Hence, routine checkups are necessary for the dentist to locate any orthodontic problems.
- Use fluoride toothpaste: It is advisable to use fluoride toothpaste from the start in order to get healthy and strong teeth. Fluoride helps to rebuild weakened teeth enamel and reverses signs of tooth decay.
Apart from following the prescribed methods, it is most important to be a good role model. Children will only be motivated to follow a healthy dental hygiene only if you stand as an epitome to them. That is why it is important to take care of your own teeth while taking care of your little ones. This will go a long way in ensuring sparkling smile in the entire family!