Training your child on how to take care of their teeth ensures that the good habits continue till adulthood. But when should you start taking care of the teeth is a major concern for most of the parents. Baby teeth start appearing from right from the age of 6 months, and if parents fail to take care of the teeth, the baby teeth are under constant risk of decay. Not just this, there are many problems related to the oral hygiene of the child, which include thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking, and more.
This tooth decay often becomes so severe, that the teeth can not be saved and has to be removed instantly. But this risk can be prevented if parents start taking care of their child’s teeth right from the beginning. Usually, until the child gets 3 years old, they have 20 full sets of 20 teeth that are responsible for giving their face shape, chewing food, and maintaining the spacing.
Here are some tips and guidelines to ensure the healthiness of the child’s teeth until permanent teeth make their space.
Do you know that teeth actually begin to form during the second trimester of pregnancy? Just because these teeth are not seen, doesn’t mean you can overlook dental care.
Clean the baby’s mouth with a moist cloth or a gauze pad right after a few days from the baby’s birth. This ensures that harmful bacteria are washed out from the mouth.
Unless you feel confident about your child’s way of brushing, help them out in the process. Buy them a child-sized toothbrush and ensure that they brush and floss two times a day. However, when the teeth developed that they touch each other, you need to ensure that they clean between the teeth daily.
Additionally, you can start flossing between the teeth when the baby teeth start touching.
If your kid is of the age of 3 or above, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Supervise your kids while they are brushing and keep a check that they are not swallowing the toothpaste.
Avoid allowing the baby to sleep with bottles in their mouth; this can miserably harm the baby’s teeth. Clean the mouth soon after they are done with the drinking because sugar remnants from juice, formula, or milk are harmful to enamel. This issue is often referred to as “bottle mouth” or “baby bottle tooth decay.” In such decays, the front teeth decolor or gets pocked and pitted. Additionally, this might result in cavity formation and, thereby, severe tooth decay.
The next question that most of the parents don’t have an answer to is, “When should you start visiting the doctor?”
It is recommended by the American Dental Society to make your child’s first dental visit after six months of first tooth appearance. Well, do not extend the visit duration and wait until your child’s first birthday. Look out for dentistry for children in your area before you land up in an emergency. Make your child comfortable with the doctor, so that they allow the doctor to examine the mouth freely without any fear.
Pediatric dentists are well-versed in handling various problems related to the child and take the utmost care of the kids’ dental health. However, it is important to make your child feel positive about the visit to the doctor. They panic a lot on hearing terms like syringe and cavity operation.
Hence, before making the final appointment, talk to your child, and make them understand the benefits of visiting the doctor.
Don’t show your anxiety related to the baby teeth problems. Children tend to empathize over the emotion, which can make them feel negative about the visit.
Don’t threaten them for your visit; instead, comfort them with good words.
Bribing and convincing your child for their dental visit won’t help, so stop doing it.
Acknowledge them in advance about what they can expect during their visit to the dentist.
Let them know that the doctor will check the oral injuries or any cavity formation. Also, a pediatric doctor can let you know in advance if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay. They will clean your child’s teeth and give them guidance over daily care. Doctors will amicably discuss the problems related to the teething, pacifier use, or thumb sucking. The crux of the matter is, a doctor will help you take out the fear of dental visits and problems from your child’s mind.
And as a parent, you can always make oral hygiene fun for your kids with these quick tips:
Allow your child to select their own toothbrush of their favorite color or character;
Nowadays, even toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors. Let your child pick up the favorite flavor;
Show some funny videos or read books related to dental hygiene;
You can make use of a funny timer and put an alarm of 2 minutes to ensure that your kids brush for that minimum period;
If your child is taking good oral care, reward them with something useful. However, do not give sugary foods or chocolates; instead, an apple slice or a star in their home book would be great.
Lastly, encourage your child to drink enough water regularly in order to avoid any tooth decay. American Dental Association states that fluoridated water reduces the chances of cavity formation in children. Visit the nearest dentistry for children for any further concerns.