Your kids need you to take care of a lot of things instead of them. However, taking care of your kidʻs teeth can be both yours and your kidʻs responsibility, if you know how to approach this issue. That way youʻll ensure you kidʻs teeth are strong and healthy.
1. Early start
The moment your baby gets its first teeth, start getting them used to the idea of brushing their teeth. This is important because formula milk and breast milk contain sugar, which could lead to teeth decay. Your kid needs to use fluoride toothpaste but you can start with finger brushes with your baby. It will help them get used to the idea of something tickling their teeth and gums. The best time to do it is after the last feed in the evening.
2. Watch their diet
You need to take care of your kidʻs diet, meaning they shouldnʻt eat too many sugary foods and drinks. Soda, fruit juices and other sweetened drinks should only be on the menu from time to time. In case your kid eats something sugary, let them brush their teeth immediately after they have eaten it.
Also, older kids can have chewing gum, which comes with certain advantages like helping produce saliva and removing the food remains in the mouth. It also balances the acids that can lead to tooth decay.
3. Get enough fluoride
Fluoride strengthens the enamel, so if your tap water isn't fluoridated, talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements. The majority of toothpaste types contain fluoride. Still, be careful because too much fluoride can lead to tooth discoloration.
4. Make tooth brushing fun
Itʻs important for kids to relate teeth brushing with fun. Also, it’s necessary to have an age-appropriate toothbrush with soft bristles. Apply only a smear if your kid is younger than three, and just a pea-sized amount if your kid is 3-6 years old. You can get an electric toothbrush that lights up and vibrates, which could be very entertaining for your child. However, donʻt buy it if your kid is under the age of three.
5. Mouth safety
Dental hygiene also includes safety. In other words, if your kid plays sports, you need to cover their teeth with a mouth guard. Itʻs a plastic retainer that covers the teeth, but itʻs soft enough not to damage the lips and teeth. You can talk to your dentist if you want your kid to have a custom-fit mouth guard.
6. When to see a doctor
Your kidʻs first visit to the dentist should be around their first birthday. In developed countries like the US or Australia kids really do visit the pediatric dentist around that time. In case the child experiences tooth pain or has a tooth or mouth infection or loses a permanent tooth, parents can contact the emergency dentist anytime, day or night. For example, in Australia, you can find a good emergency dentist in Wollongong, Perth or Sydney, who will react in time, which is especially important if there is still a chance for the permanent tooth to be reattached.
7. Teach the right technique
Babies and little kids learn through watching you, so let them watch you while you brush your teeth. You also need to supervise your kid while they are brushing their teeth until they are seven or eight. You need to use a circular motion while brushing and cup the gum line. Also, donʻt use water to rinse but just spit out the excess toothpaste. Otherwise, you're removing the fluoride from your mouth.
8. Let the child have some control
Let your child use their own toothbrush when it comes to color and type. It will make them feel they are doing something fun and important for themselves. Just steer them in the right direction. Many kidʻs toothbrushes have popular cartoon characters on them and come in various colors. If you donʻt let your kid make any decision regarding their teeth brushing, they will soon see it as an annoying obligation.
All in all
Dental hygiene is equally important for kids as well as adults. Proper dental hygiene is something that is taught from an early age. By doing your best at teaching your kid to be responsible when it comes to their teeth, youʻll ensure them strong teeth in the years to come.