“A genuine smile comes from the heart, but a healthy smile needs good dental care” – Wayne Chirisa
Protecting your child’s teeth and smile can be your primary and important concern. The beautiful smile you find every time on your child’s face is invaluable and needs to be saved. You cannot afford to lose them just because your little one is scared of the dental clinic or you simply cannot wait for the appointment to meet your dentist. Here are some tips to take care of your kid’s dental health and help him/her smile better.
1. Introduce brushing teeth using toothpaste
The time when your child understands and does things on his/her own, you can educate the child about brushing the teeth twice every day. Using fluoride toothpaste will help prevent cavities; the fluoride, a natural mineral, forestalls tooth decay by forming a surface called enamel. Though you can find fluoride in natural water resources and some food, the amount of it required daily to protect the teeth is not enough. Studies have shown that regular brushing of teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride has resulted in significant reduction of cavities. Nevertheless, instilling brushing practices in children must be according to the recommendations by dentists or dental hygienists. Where your kid is less than 3 years old, you can start brushing his/her teeth with fluorinated toothpaste of the quantity as small as a grain’s size. For the older children in the age group of 3-6 years, the size of the fluoride toothpaste must not be larger than a pea. To ensure that your kid uses the right amount of toothpaste and spit most of it, you need to supervise the brushing on a daily basis, if possible.
2. Encourage your child to floss daily
With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service stating flossing as an essential practice for oral hygiene, there needs to create awareness in children how plaque between the teeth can cause tooth decay. Once your kids’ teeth touch together, which generally happens between 3-4 years, it is necessary to demonstrate to your child how to floss his/her teeth using an interdental cleaner. It is advisable to use disposable floss sticks for the regular string floss may work out a bit hard in the small mouth. Not flossing will help develop plaque, which contains bacteria that feast on the food left in your mouth. In the due course, the acid produced by bacteria eats away the enamel and causes cavities in the teeth. It also results in gum disease if the plaque hardens and becomes tartar and deposits along the gums.Children until 10 or 11 years of age are found to be not good in flossing because they lack the manual dexterity that adults have while cleaning teeth.
3. Preserve the pearly whites with dental sealant
Your baby’s teeth must be treasured from tooth decay. With dental sealant you can do away with cavities. This sealant acts like a coating made of thin vinyl material applied to cover the surfaces of pits, grooves, as well as the back teeth. As a shield, it adheres to the enamel and safeguards the teeth from decaying. This makes the child have a healthy beautiful smile.
Why do you need dental sealant?It is true that careful brushing and flossing remove the leftover food particles and plaque from the surfaces of teeth but not from the pits and grooves. The dental sealant is the quick and easy way of sealing off the vulnerable parts of the teeth shielding them against decaying.Children who are in the age group of 6-14 years are recommended to get sealants at least on the permanent premolars and molars. The sealants in children last for long up to 10 years.
4. Practice healthy diet
What you can do as a parent is to educate your child to have healthy food and drink because too much of sugar and carbohydrates in some food and snacks can cause tooth decay. Some types of food that promotes dental health are vegetables and fruits, cheese, milk, hard-boiled eggs, plain pop corns and crackers and sugar-free food items.Have your child take vegetables and fruits with a lot of water content and limit taking those with much sugar content. Cheese serves best to produce saliva, which is essential to wash away the food particles from the teeth. It is better to teach your child avoid sticky and chewy food items for they stick in the grooves. The sugary food like candies, on the other hand, coats the teeth with sugar causing easy tooth decay.Encourage your child to drink a lot of water and brush teeth after consuming food.
5. Make your child wear mouth guards
Children at young age are susceptible to injuries caused while performing sports. If your child is an active participant in sports like football, basketball, skateboarding, or snowboarding, it is wise to use mouth guards as they safeguard the teeth from getting knocked out or broken. Some sports may even cause damage to your lips or face. Ask your dentist to help you choose appropriate mouth guards to protect you, as well as your teeth.
6. Visit your dentist regularly
The dental-care tips mentioned above are not the only ones that help your child with a healthy smile but also the regular visits to your dentists to ensure good dental care. Prompt dental checkups are essential to detect any problems in the teeth early. Where you overlook the plaque or cavity, it will develop into a big problem later and can ruin your child’s career. Children hesitate or hate to visit a dental clinic; by scheduling your visit, you can create a culture of visiting the dentist regularly and help your child smiling beautifully all along.
How often should your child visit a dental clinic?
You can schedule the first visit after six months from the time the first teeth emerged in your child’s mouth. After that, if your child has healthy teeth, you may visit the dentist two times a year for dental cleaning. With the above good oral-care tips you can see your child’s healthy smile forever.