Establishing a good dental hygiene practice for your kids from a young age is the first step in proper dental health. Until the ages of 10 or 12, children need constant supervision when it comes to brushing and taking care of their teeth. Below are 9 top dental hygiene tips for kids from a working mom.
Regardless of how busy you are, it is vital that you instill in your kids proper dental hygiene habits from a young age. Brushing the teeth is a very important part of dental hygiene that your kids must learn and adopt from a young age. And how best to teach them these practices than by starting it yourself.
Before your kids get to the age of supervision, personally undertake brushing their teeth by yourself. Use a clean soft wash cloth and water to clean gum of toddlers then start up with infant brush and a touch of toothpaste when the teeth begins to arrive. Always ensure that your children brush their teeth before they leave for school and going to bed.
It is recommended to use fluoride toothpaste for proper dental care. Until your kids get to six years of age, use a pea size of low fluoride toothpaste or just a grain size of regular fluoride toothpaste for their brushing. Encourage them to spit out after each brushing.
From the age of six, use a pea sized amount of regular fluoride toothpaste to brush your children’s teeth at least two times every day. Fluoride is a very important component that should be available in your toothpaste as it helps decrease the risk of tooth decay and repair weakened enamel. Always check that fluoride is contained in the toothpaste you buy or stick to one brand that contains fluoride.
No matter how busy you are, a regular visit to the dentist is not negotiable. Most adults need regular dental checkup at least two times in a year, the same applies to children. It is important that your child sees a dentist before his or her first birthday. A good dentist will examine your child’s teeth and make useful suggestions for proper dental care. In addition to carrying out an oral examination on your kids, a dentist will start a dental record for your children and guide you on the proper habits for cavity prevention. Visiting a dentist regularly and observing preventive measures will save you money in the long run.
Flossing is not optional
You want to start flossing as soon as at least two of your child’s teeth are touching one another. Flossing is not to be left for when the permanent teeth comes in. no matter how well you brush your kid’s teeth, you won’t be able to completely get out all the food or plaque as long as the teeth are touching together. There are disposable flossers made for kids that you can use. Of course, they might not want it, but you have to find a way to get this done. The proper procedure is to brush and floss after dinner before bedtime, then only give your kids water and nothing else. Ask your dentist for the proper flossing method if you are in doubt.
Reduce the Juice & Sugary food
We all want to give our kids what they enjoy such as juice and sugary foods, but this can lead to tooth decay. There is no problem using juice and sweets as treats but these should not take over as their meals. Even zero percent juice contains natural sugar that can cause tooth decay. It won’t be easy but try to avoid sugary foods and sweet snacks in your children’s lunch box.
Pay attention to healthy food
Calcium is necessary for strong teeth and bones. Your children need foods that contain calcium for strong and healthy teeth. Provide your children with a wide variety of food from the five groups of food everything. Cheese, milk and yoghurt are major sources of calcium. You need to ensure that vegetables and fruits are also part of your children’s diet.
Some medications meant for Children can be flavored and sugary. This is so the children can take the medicines and keep them down. If these medicines stick to their teeth, it can result in cavities and tooth decay. Antibiotics and medicines for asthma can result in an overgrowth of candida, this can lead to fungal infection in the mouth known as oral thrush. After a complete medication session, always inspect the inside of your child’s mouth and the tongue for creamy patches which is a sign of yeast infection.
This is why brushing your kid’s teeth twice a day is important. It will clean up any remnant of sugar or medicine in their mouth and so prevent cavity and tooth decay.
Encourage drinking plenty of clean water
Encourage your children to drink enough water everyday. Apart from the obvious hydration benefits, tap water in some countries contain fluoride which we have established is good for strong teeth and prevents tooth decay. Not all bottled water contains fluoride which is why tap water is a better source. It is important to point here that if you are on a trip with your kids and you are not sure of the cleanliness of the tap water, then avoid it at all cost and instead go for bottled water.
Reward healthy habits
The quickest way to get your children to adopt good dental habits is by rewarding them when they do until it becomes a part of them. Leave little treats occasionally to encourage and reward your children for practicing good dental habits. Children are also more likely to engage in certain habits when they see grownups doing it. Make brushing a group activity and watch your children learn from example.
Children can be a handful most times and they will not want to brush their teeth or perform other actions you want them to. You have to be patient. Most children can start brushing their teeth with supervision from their parents from 3 years old and they can get to 10 years of age before they get perfect with brushing and flossing.