The oral health of your child can affect the quality of their life long-term. Children who have poor dental hygiene may experience pain and discomfort, especially when toothache happens. Having oral health problems may also prevent them from performing their day-to-day activities, such as attending school and playing with their peers.
Having good oral health does not just eliminate the risk of developing dental problems, but it can also help boost your kids’ confidence and self-esteem. When they have healthy gums and teeth, it will reflect on their giddy smiles, and they won’t be shy to show it!
To help you get started, here are simple yet effective ways to care for your child’s teeth:
- Introduce Them To A Family Dentist Early
Studies show that dental fear and anxiety are some of the biggest challenges in paediatric dentistry. Kids who dread going to the dentist will likely develop oral health problems, since their mouths continue to be left unchecked.
Introducing them to a dentist early can prevent this. When visiting the dentist becomes a norm, your children won’t make a big deal out of it anymore. This may even make them love going to dental appointments!
To easily care for your child’s oral health, introduce them to The Dental Family Beaumaris or other family dentists available in your area. Dentists can check the overall condition of your child’s mouth and prevent any problems before things get worse.
- Be Careful With Pacifiers And Thumb Sucking
Children using a pacifier and sucking their thumbs is no longer new. Many parents would even rely on a pacifier to calm down a crying child. However, you need to be mindful of how often you let your kids do this, as pacifiers can cause damage to their teeth.
Experts believe that pacifiers and thumb sucking can negatively impact the alignment of your child’s teeth- teeth can become slanted or crooked. Excessive use of pacifiers can even cause abnormal changes in the roof of their mouth.
As the saying ‘prevention is the best cure’ goes, strive to eliminate this habit as early as you can. If your child wants to use a pacifier or suck their thumb, distract them with their favourite toy or start playing with them instead.
- Take Care Of Their Gums Too
Just because your child doesn’t have their complete set of teeth yet, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay any attention or even postpone caring for their oral health. On the contrary, you should start taking care of their gums as early as day one, to ensure that it stays healthy long-term. Having healthy gums can make activities such as speaking and eating easier for your children as they grow up.
You can use a clean and warm wet washcloth to wipe your child’s gums after each feeding or meal. Wrapping a damp piece of gauze around your finger and using an infant nibble can also work.
- Practice Brushing Teeth After Every Meal
One of the most important habits your kids need to learn and develop is brushing their teeth after every meal. This can be a tedious task, but you can introduce ways to make this a fun activity rather than a chore.
It’s important as parents, that we not just teach them the long-term benefits of taking care of their teeth and gums, but also instill the responsibility of taking care of their own body, even without being told.
- Introduce Flossing
Using a toothbrush is not enough to achieve and maintain a healthy mouth. Food particles often get stuck in between teeth, which can eventually cause cavities, bad breath, periodontitis, and other dental conditions. You can let your kids observe you first, then you can eventually guide them as they try flossing for the first time.
To encourage your children to floss regularly, explore ways to turn this into a bonding moment kids can enjoy.
- Minimize Sugary Drinks And Foods
Another way to take care of your child’s teeth is to minimize sugary drinks and foods in their diet. These produce acid in the mouth that may damage the teeth and cause cavities to form.
Instead of giving your children sodas and candies, encourage them to consume more fruits and vegetables. Aside from being healthier alternatives, certain fruits and vegetables can contribute to a healthier mouth. For instance, carrots and root vegetables can naturally clean the mouth and stimulate the gums. While fresh apples can generate more saliva, which can reduce bacteria from forming in your mouth.
As parents, we all want the best for our kids. Part of caring about them and their well-being is introducing habits that they can significantly benefit from. Teaching kids how to take care of their teeth while they’re still young can surely go a long way.
To encourage healthy dental practice among kids, consider offering rewards regularly. Just make sure that you’re not using candies and other sweet treats as a reward, as this will defeat your goal of teaching your children the importance of good dental practice.