All About Dental Health
Dental health is a very important aspect of one’s overall health. Our teeth play a vital role in giving shape to our facial appearance, our smile and consequently boosting our confidence too. Furthermore, children’s oral hygiene is even more important because it can have a lasting and far reaching impact on the alignment of children’s teeth.
It is essential that you undertake multiple efforts to maintain children’s dental health. This is true for children who have milk teeth as well. Even though milk teeth fall off, it is important to develop a brushing routine from a young age so that kids understand that dental health is an essential part of daily hygiene. (1)
If you are looking for ways to effectively take care of your child’s oral health then we suggest you read along.
Children's oral health facts
Pediatric oral health is very important for making sure that children develop strong teeth. When parents lay emphasis on children’s oral care then they reinforce a positive habit in their kid to always take care of his teeth.
You must keep in mind the following facts about dental hygiene for pre schoolers.
- When good dental practices are observed regularly, then the process of maintaining good dental health is not expensive at all. Negligence in doing the same can lead to unforeseen expenditures.
- In order to maintain dental hygiene for preschoolers, the importance of brushing is paramount because almost half of 8 year olds have visible signs of tooth cavity. (1)
- By the time your child is two and a half years old, he must have a full set of teeth and must be well versed with the habit of brushing and flossing.
How to care for children's teeth?
These are some dental health tips for preschoolers that can be instrumental in safeguarding their oral health.
1. Inculcate the habit of brushing in your child
Dental hygiene is very important for maintaining your child’s teeth’s quality. If your child is yet to get his teeth, you must use a washcloth to clean his gums and once his teeth come out, you should use a baby tooth brush with some fluoride toothpaste to gently brush your child’s teeth. Subsequently, you should start encouraging your child to brush his/her teeth twice a day. Brushing one’s teeth before bedtime is very important.
2. Encourage your child to use a Sippy cup after six months
When your child drinks from a bottle or sleeps with the bottle in his mouth, then the chances of tooth decay significantly increase. After six months of age, you should encourage your child to drink from a sippy cup so that they can become habitual of it and eventually leave the bottle.
3. Sugary drinks are the primary cause of cavities in children
Too much sugar is harmful for your child, because it can over-stimulate your child. It is bad for their dental hygiene as well, as residual sugar can accumulate around their gums. Encourage your children to wash their mouth and brush their teeth after they consume anything of this nature.
4. Always opt for a fluoride toothpaste
When we use a fluoride toothpaste, our tooth enamel gets strengthened. This bodes well for your child’s tooth health. In order to choose the perfect toothpaste for your child, you can consult your dentist. (2)
5. Opt for regular dental check ups
Parents must ensure that they take their kids to the dentist once every three months or at least once a year. This will enable them to learn about effective ways to maintain the overall health of their children’s teeth and consequently acquaint them with good oral hygiene habits too. Timely visits to the dentist can help you manage the onset of a number of tooth problems.
Children's teeth problems/Dental Problems
These are some of the most common children’s teeth problems:
1. Cavities :
Since children love sugary drinks, they are prone to developing cavities. As a matter of fact, nearly 520 million children around the world suffer from cavities.
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem in children. This is a particularly uncomfortable problem as it can cause your child to not enjoy his favourite food items too. In order to look for signs and causes of sensitivity, you should plan a visit to your child’s dentist at least once or twice a year.
3. Gum problems :
Gum sensitivity, swelling or inflammation is pretty common in children. This could be a precursor to an underlying tooth problem and parents should be proactive in getting it checked from their trusted dentist as soon as possible.
4. Tooth emergencies :
There is a big possibility that children might fracture or chip their teeth while playing. In such a scenario, a dentist is the only one who can cure the problem in the best possible way.
How to brush children's teeth / Importance of brushing teeth
Brushing is the most potent dental hygiene practice that can go a long way in taking care of your teeth. It is the most effective way of preventing the buildup of germs or plaque that can have detrimental effects on your child’s teeth. You can adhere to the following tips to brush your child’s teeth properly.
- Start by choosing a good children’s toothbrush and a child friendly toothpaste to have good teeth care.
- Get your child to sit in a comfortable position or on your lap and then use the toothbrush to brush along the gum line to clean each and every tooth properly.
- Brush in small circular motions and don’t forget to clean the inside and outside of their mouth.
- After brushing, encourage your child to spit out the excess toothpaste.
- While using a child-friendly toothpaste, it is important to remember that if your child fails to spit out the extra toothpaste from their mouth, it won’t cause them any harm.
General Tips for Parents for maintaining children's oral care
Parents can use the following tips to encourage their children to engage in good oral care practices.
- Engage your child while you brush their teeth. In fact, let them do it on their own first. This will nudge them to learn the art of brushing and get better at it with daily practice.
- Make brushing a fun time for your child. You can play his/her favourite song or keep their favourite soft toy close by.
- Make them friendly with their dentist so that they don’t dread going to him if the need for it arises.
- If your toddler doesn’t like brushing his teeth in the bathroom, it is advisable to make him brush his teeth at some other location in the house to make it fun. Gradually, ease your child into brushing in the bathroom.
1. How does bad oral health affect a child and his self confidence?
Bad oral health can translate into brittle teeth and bad breath. This can negatively affect the self confidence of a child by making him conscious while he speaks or smiles. Good dental habits don’t just augment tooth health but they play a significant role in augmenting one’s confidence as well.
2. What can be the causes of bad oral health of kids?
The most common causes of bad oral health are cavities and tooth decay which are caused due to improper and infrequent brushing of teeth. Since young kids mainly rely on milk for their nutrition, it is very easy for them to develop cavities if proper oral care is not taken.
3. How to have good oral health for kids?
The most important way to encourage good oral health in kids is by acquainting them with the importance of good oral practices. Furthermore, parents should make sure that they take their kids to the dentist at least once a year to get their thorough oral check up done.