Oral health routine set at childhood continues for lifetime
Establishing a good dental care routine for children is very important to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that tooth decay is the most common disease amongst children in the world. This is because the parents often ignore cavities in children thinking that the milk teeth are going to fall off anyway so why to worry? This thinking is absolutely wrong.
Primary teeth or milk teeth lay a foundation for the permanent teeth. If your milk teeth have decay or they fall off before time, it will lead to not only to pain but also weakened or titled permanent teeth.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to establish a good dental care routine. Here are a few tips for parents –
Infants (0-1 years)
Oral hygiene routine can be done even in kids without teeth. Use a soft piece of cloth to wipe down your baby’s gums gently. Once their teeth start erupting use a soft silicone finger brush to gently brush them.
Toddlers (1-3 years)
This is the best time to teach children the importance of teeth brushing. Show them fun videos or books to encourage them to brush. Children under 2 years of age should be given a rice size amount and above 2 a pea sizes the amount of toothpaste to brush.
Young children ( 3 + years)
By Now your child should be brushing twice a day for at least two minutes with a good fluorinated toothpaste. Assist the child to brush their teeth until they learn to spit properly o keep them interested in brushing let them pick their own toothbrush. It may be in their favorite color, cartoon characters, etc. on it.
Do the same with toothpaste – let them try various flavors. Play their favorite song while brushing. Until these small things will make he whole brushing experience a fun one and they will do it on their own without any cajoling.
When should you visit your dentist?
- Visit, the dentist as soon as your child turns one. Don’t wait for your child to develop cavities or pain. Regular 6 monthly visits will not only prevent dental problems but will also help the child to develop a good rapport with the dentist.
- Ask your dentist about fluoride applications. This is a simple and painless procedure done to strengthen the teeth and prevent cavities. Your dentist may also suggest other preventive procedures like flourish varnish and pit and fissure sealant depending on your child’s age.
- If more extensive treatment like tooth filings, pulpectomy or removal of teeth are advised try and get them done at the earliest. Delaying treatment will only make matters worse.
- Lastly remember that children often look up to their parents. So set good examples for them by making sure you brush your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist regularly.