As a parent, looking after the needs of your children remains a top priority. Whilst teaching your child the importance of good oral hygiene can be difficult, it is important that children develop good dental hygiene habits from an early age. Strong, healthy teeth not only look great and improve confidence, they also help your child chew, talk and avoid potential complications later in life.
No parent wants their child to deal with preventable infection, disease and other dental issues. By following the helpful tips below, you can help your child develop healthy dental habits that will set them up for life.
Brushing and Flossing Baby Teeth
Establishing good oral hygiene starts with taking care of baby teeth. Whilst these teeth will eventually be replaced, they still need to be cared for to prevent tooth decay and allow your child to chew, speak and smile with confidence. Infected teeth may also cause pain and swelling. The infection can spread to the jaw and affect the developing adult teeth underneath . Brushing can begin as soon as teeth appear, You can start cleaning your baby’s teeth by wiping a soft cloth or brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water at least twice per day. At 18 months start using a pea sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth. Encourage your child to spit out toothpaste after brushing. Flossing can begin once teeth start touching adjacent teeth. It is usually best for parents to do the flossing, but you can start teaching your child the importance of flossing and how to do so without damaging gums.
This should be done twice a day in the early morning and after the last evening meal.
Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Children
Children are active and inquisitive, but they often have short attention spans and would rather be off playing than spending time in the bathroom taking care of their teeth. It may not be easy to teach them the importance of dental health, but by making it a fun learning experience you can vastly increase your chance of success.
Here are some ways to get your child involved in the process:
- Allow them to choose a toothbrush – there are many different colours and designs of toothbrush available on the market today. You can even purchase branded toothbrushes with their favourite movie characters. This will make them much happier and more excited to brush their teeth.
- Play some music – if your child has a favourite song or jingle you might like to play this in the bathroom as they brush their teeth. Brushing should go for about 2 minutes, so you might like to set a timer. This will make brushing their teeth a fun experience.
- Books and Videos on Dental Hygiene – sit down with your child to read a book or watch a video on dental hygiene. There is no shortage of content available, and the creators ensure the content is engaging and fun for kids. This can be a great educational experience for your child.
- Reward Them – Every time your child has a successful brushing session, you might like to reward them with a healthy treat such as apple slices or perhaps a sticker or small toy. Try to avoid sweets and other sugary items as these will undo all the good work.
- Brush in the most convenient room – You don’t have to brush teeth at the bathroom sink. If your child feels more comfortable in another area of the house, allow them to brush there. This will save frustration and needless arguments.
Enamel hypoplasia and hypomineralisation, a defect of the enamel, are two of the most common developmental defects that can affect both baby teeth and permanent teeth. They not only impact the appearance of teeth but also cause issues with tooth sensitivity and increase the risk of decay. Regular visits to Specialist Kids Dentist will ensure that any issues are identified early before they become painful and costly. Usually full crowns are indicated to replace tooth loss from decay and reinforce the rest of tooth structure.
Schedule an Appointment with Specialist Kids Dentist Today
Every child deserves to enjoy great oral health and a beautiful smile. If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth or would like to seek professional advice on oral care for children, Specialist Kids Dentist invite you to schedule an appointment with us today on 02 9600 6848. We look forward to seeing you soon.