Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

How to Maintain Your Child’s Oral Health

Apart from the fact that the first milk teeth fall out and are replaced by new teeth at some point (mostly around the age of seven), it’s essential to take care of their hygiene properly. Many parents can’t decide how much dental care their little ones need, and when’s the right time to start. Children’s first teeth are important since they play an important role in biting and chewing food, and clearly pronouncing their first words. Additionally, when the first teeth emerge from the gums, the chances of getting cavities are bigger. Here are some tips and guidelines on your child’s initial oral health care.

When is the right time to start with their dental care?

Although babies in the first months of their lives have no teeth, that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t take their oral hygiene into account. On the contrary, many child dentists advise parents to clean their gums regularly with a clean damp cloth in order to prevent the reproduction of various bacteria. When their first baby teeth emerge, it’s time to wash them with a brush and a toothpaste. Since children at that age are barely able to hold their toothbrush, let alone brush, parents must take the whole responsibility for their oral hygiene. According to children’s dentists, your child’s first toothbrush should have a small head and soft fibers. Wash their teeth with great care using gentle and mild movements. When it comes to the use of toothpaste, very small quantities are advised, but also the use of the paste that contains certain amounts of fluoride. Such pastes prevent the formation of cavities. Make your child’s teeth ritual interesting by singing, talking or playing music they like to sing or dance to. When the baby turns three, the amount of toothpaste may increase.

Teaching your children to wash their teeth by themselves

The first step in teaching your child oral hygiene is by giving them examples to follow. Taking care of your own teeth sends a strong message to your child and emphasizes the importance of their oral and overall health. In order to help your child protect the health of their own teeth and gums, as well as to reduce the risk of caries, teach them to wash their teeth at least twice a day ? in the morning and before going to bed. The recommended duration of the washing process itself should be two minutes. During that short time, teeth need to be washed both from the outside and from the inside. Teach them to wash their teeth from the roots to the top, and not to skip washing the upper surfaces of teeth or gums. It would be great if you could supervise them, at least the first couple of times.

How to protect their teeth on the court

If your child participates in different sports activities, such as wrestling or football, it’s crucial to learn how to shield their teeth from potential dangers, because you never know what might happen during a match. Children are often reckless, which leads to different injuries, and a dental injury is one of them. By providing your child with an efficient wrestling mouth guard, you have ensured their full protection. This mouth guard prevents them from orofacial injuries that are most likely to happen during such dangerous sports.

Make dental appointments fearless and positive

The fear of going to the dentist when you were little makes for the perfect excuse to have your child feel the opposite. Whenever you have an appointment, take them with you so they get used to the smell, interior, noises and the doctor. Explain that going to the dentist should be a habit once they are old enough to understand the importance of dental health.

Decrease their sugar intake

Cutting down the sugar from their diet makes you their worst enemy. Juices, gummy candy and sticky bubble gums are number one contributors to creating cavities. If your children eat these in huge amounts, then maybe you should accustom them to clean their teeth to wash away the sugar, or at least to rinse their mouth after eating sweets. If they are having a hard time accepting that, then don’t hesitate to remove some of their favorite treats from their diet, or let them eat those from time to time.

Try plaque-disclosing tablets

To help your children see where their teeth need brush improvement, try using disclosing tablets. These are dyes that stick to the plaque on their teeth and turn it blue or pink, so the food and plaque are more visible. Removing the parts they skipped should be a fun experience, because they would probably want to compete with themselves and remove everything until their teeth are back to their normal color.

By taking these tips into account, you are on the right path to teaching your child how to take care of their oral hygiene from the very beginning.

Brigitte Evans is a Cosmetic Skin Care Consultant and a writer from Australia, with a sweet tooth for makeup and everything sparkly. When she is not drooling over the next big thing in the beauty industry, she reads mystery novels and makes plans for her next trip. She is the proud aunt of Sophie, age 4, who has rounded her Chanel lipstick, but she loves her anyway.