It is important to remember that dental health is just as vital as physical health. In fact, it plays a significant role in maintaining your overall well-being. This assertion is just as true for children as it is for adults. Therefore, as a parent, it is crucial to remember that the healthier your child’s teeth are, the easier it is to maintain their health.
Good oral hygiene plays a key role in maintaining proper dental health. Moreover, it can significantly reduce your child’s likelihood of suffering from tooth decay and other preventable oral diseases. So, as you map out a comprehensive care plan for your children, don’t forget to include their oral health.
Here are some tips for looking after children’s teeth.
1. Positive Associations
Positive associations are directly proportional to forming positive relationships. Therefore, by helping your child develop positive associations with their dental care, you increase their willingness to care for their teeth.
You can form positive associations by making oral care fun and fear-free.
There are numerous ways to encourage positive attitudes about oral health. Some examples include reading books, role-playing dental visits and incorporating games and songs into your children’s brushing routine. You can also offer positive reinforcement through rewards centred around good, healthy dental care habits and proper, consistent tooth brushing.
Conversely, when speaking to them about the dentist, it is best to refer to the dental professional in favourable terms like “kind”, “helpful”, and “caring”. In addition, try to avoid projecting any fears you may have regarding the dentist onto them.
2. Good Habits
Consistency plays a significant part in overall dental health. So, by forming good habits early and sticking to them, your children will enjoy better oral health throughout their lives. Here are some easy-to-follow routines to implement today.
- Rinse with water after eating – the simple practice of swilling some water in your mouth after a meal can dramatically reduce acids and bacteria that form tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.
- Brush well – tooth brushing is vital for healthy teeth and gums. Therefore, teaching your child how to brush using small, circular motions for two minutes twice daily is best. For more encouragement, use a timer or reward chart to help them keep their tooth brushing on track.
- Avoid sugary and highly acidic foods, particularly lollies, carbonated drinks and sour candies. High acid content softens the tooth enamel (the tooth’s protective coating), which leads to damaged enamel, then cavities and the need for dental treatments.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel. Hence, using a toothpaste that comprises fluoride and drinking tap water are excellent ways to support strong enamel. Fortunately, Australian tap water contains added fluoride to help support the greater community’s oral health.
Conversely, too much exposure to fluoride at a young age can bring about white stains. While these stains are harmless, they are unpleasant and cannot be eliminated. Therefore,dentists recommend against swallowing toothpaste and sucking the toothbrush.
A common mistake many adults make is allowing their children to use adult toothpaste. This allowance is not ideal. Instead, it is better to stick to age-appropriate kinds of toothpaste as they have a milder flavour and contain appropriate fluoride levels.
4.Visiting the Dentist
Bi-annual visits to the dentist are mandatory. The best time to begin scheduling these visits for your child is when they reach two years of age.
To ensure a positive dental experience, you can support your child by remaining positive and calm. Moreover, try discussing what they can expect in advance so that things like the dentist’s equipment, the reclining chair and the suction noise don’t overwhelm and scare them.
Finally,think about bringing along your child’s favourite comforter or toy if they are likely to feel anxious. Additionally, you call ahead to alert the dentist so they can takean extra gentle approach.
There are numerous easy habits you can instil in your children that can significantly positively impact the health of their teeth and gums. As long as you employ positive reinforcement and encourage positive attitudes towards the processes and dentists, your children will be well-equipped to maintain their dental health throughout their lives.