Maintaining a good dental hygiene is very important to your child’s overall health and the perfect time for parents to start being vigilant about it is from childhood. When good dental habits are formed since childhood healthy teeth are sure to be a companion for long period.
Lack of dental hygiene invites unwanted cavities which cause pain and decaying of teeth. They may also give rise to a lot of other problems. Parents should set a good example of dental hygiene. Children learn and follow by what they see more than by what they are told to do.
Ways To Maintain The Dental Hygiene For Children
Care At The Initial Stage
Dental hygiene should be followed from the moment the first tooth begins to erupt by wiping the tooth with a clean, soft and moist cloth after the child is fed. You may move on to brushing after the eruption of more teeth.
Choose a soft bristled toothbrush suitable for the child’s age and brush the teeth in the morning and before retiring to bed.
A tooth brush with a small head can reach all the areas of the mouth which are otherwise difficult to reach. Change the tooth brush as soon as it shows signs of damage or after 3 months.
Use a fluoride toothpaste after the child becomes 6 months as it is required to prevent cavities and to harden the tooth enamel. Also make sure that the child knows to spit out the excess tooth paste as too much fluoride is not too good and may cause fluorosis.
Proper Way To Brush The Teeth
Put a pea size amount of tooth paste on the moistened brush. Brush with gentle strokes up and down against the set of teeth. The strokes should be moving away from the gum line.
Clean from the outer and inner surfaces of the upper and lower set of teeth and then clean the chewing surface over the ridges. Make the child rinse properly with clean water.
Clean The Tongue
Brush the tongue with a toothbrush gently or use a tongue cleaner. This removes the bacteria accumulated on the tongue which may cause tooth decay in spite of cleaning the teeth properly. Older children can do it by themselves.
Flossing is important since it removes the plague and food particles lodged at places where the tooth brush cannot reach. This prevents caries and gum diseases. As soon as a child has two teeth which touch each other flossing should be done.
Use a nylon floss or a monofilament floss.
Wind the ends of a 15 inches floss piece around each middle finger with 2 inches of floss in between. Now slide the floss gently between each and every tooth with the help of your thumbs and index fingers. Floss at least once a day. When children reach about ten years of age flossing can be taught to them as they will be able to do it themselves.
Minimise Consumption Of Sweets
Sweet juices, carbonated soft drinks and sweets in general can be avoided. If children have them make sure that they rinse the mouth with clean water and brush the teeth. The liquids can reach crevices where your tooth brush cannot, remain there and cause cavities and erosion of the tooth enamel.
Visit A Dentist
Have regular dental checkups which help in detecting problems in children’s teeth at the earliest. The dentist can guide as to the requirements of sealants, fluoride supplements etc. which may have to be used if required.