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Did you know tooth decay is the top chronic health problem amongst American children? While dentistry for kids is known for mitigating oral issues, parental involvement is also essential in improving their kids’ oral health.
As a parent, you can help your child create and maintain routines that will prevent tooth decay and many other oral diseases. So, how do you achieve that? Here are the top three ways to teach your kids good oral hygiene.
Dental hygiene should commence as early as possible. At around age 1 or 2, begin using a soft, small toothbrush to brush your baby’s teeth, tongue, and gums not less than twice a day. You may add a small amount of toothpaste that’s devoid of fluoride. Once they learn how to spit the toothpaste out, you can shift to one with fluoride. If you’re unsure about the correct manner in which to brush your kid’s teeth, ask a pediatric dentist for help.
Children often need assistance with brushing their teeth until age 7 or 8. Then, you can give them a larger toothbrush. Make sure they brush their teeth for two minutes after every meal or drink (except water). A children’s dentist may recommend changing the toothbrush at least every three months or the moment you notice the bristles are worn.
Flossing is also a critical part of your kid’s oral health routine. Teach them to floss every day to remove food particles stuck between the teeth. You can buy them floss with a handle to ease the flossing procedure.
Diet plays a crucial role in the overall dental care for kids. Sugar is often the leading cause of cavities and tooth decay, followed by carbs and starches. If your child ingests sugary food or drinks, it’ll take the saliva at least half an hour to neutralize the acidity occasioned by decay-causing bacteria. When you give your kid snacks regularly, their mouth will be acidic most of the time, increasing the likelihood of decay.
It is your responsibility to choose what your child eats or drinks. Make sure they don’t have too much fruit juice, soda, or other sweetened drinks. Also, limit the frequency of drinks and snacks between meals. If they have sugar, ensure they properly brush their teeth immediately afterward. Stack nutritious foods in your home, such as fruits and vegetables, so your kids get used to them early on.
Instead of only reading regular stories, read them stories related to dentistry for kids before they sleep. There are numerous children’s books on the internet or from the library that promote healthy dental habits. You can also show them exciting videos about kids’ dental care. These videos and stories are exemplary for teaching your children the best ways to take good care of their teeth.
For example, the tooth fairy story can encourage kids to maintain their teeth’s health. According to this folklore, when kids lose their baby teeth, they should put them on the bedside table or under their pillows. The tooth fairy will then collect the teeth and leave behind small payments. This story will motivate your child to nurture their teeth and reduce the anxiety of losing teeth.
Dr. Camps Pediatric Dental Center offers dentistry for kids in Silver Spring, Maryland. Apart from providing proper dental care for your kid, our child dentists will also help you whenever you’re stuck in the course of teaching your children the best oral health practices at home.