Oral hygiene in children is as important as their overall health. Teaching children dental hygiene at a very young age is an investment that will reap great benefits in the future. In order to do that, ensure that you as parents set a good example and follow good oral hygiene yourselves. Moreover, there is no need to wait until your child develops all teeth and grows older in order to ensure good oral hygiene. Your baby’s tooth can get decayed as early as they appear, if not taken good care of.
Healthy oral practices are best instilled when your child is young. As challenging as it may be to teach your child to maintain healthy oral habits, try and make learning fun and engaging. A few tips to encourage dental hygiene in kids are;
- Start early
Even before your child develops teeth, ensure to wash your child’s gums with a damp cloth after each feeding. This will, later on, become a practice. Tooth decay can occur immediately after the teeth begin to appear, hence make sure to brush your child’s teeth once they develop them.
- Brush your child’s teeth for them
Strictly follow the practice of washing your child’s mouth after every meal and brushing their teeth twice a day. Make sure that you help them brush their teeth until you are confident that they can brush well on their own.
- Show them the technique
Teach your child the techniques of brushing for them to get a hang of it. Make the activity fun for kids by even brushing with them while showing them the right way to brush.
- Flossing is as important as brushing
As parents make sure you understand the importance of flossing as get your child to floss. As soon as the child starts developing teeth that brush against each other, teach them to floss. Consult with a dentist in order to know the right techniques of flossing. Flossing can begin by the time your child is 4 years of age.
- Use fun toothbrush and toothpaste
Indulge in a bit of fun with respect to toothbrush and toothpaste. Make brushing a fun activity by buying children fun toothbrushes and flavored toothpaste. However, assist them with the amount of toothpaste to use.
- Do not let the child sleep while sipping liquids
Most times when children are of the age when they are able to hold and sip on from a sipper, parents tend to hand children the sipper with milk/juice to help them doze off. Do not let children sleep off while drinking juice/milk because these liquids then cling on to the teeth.
- Do not forget to clean the tongue
Always make it a point to clean your child’s tongue with a tongue cleaner after brushing.
Along with brushing and flossing, also teach your child the importance of cleaning their tongues.
- Keep track of your child’s diet
A healthy and well-balanced diet is important for the child to develop strong teeth. Feed them nutritious food, cut down on food loaded with sugar and give your child healthy snacks to munch on. Make healthy eating a habit.
- Ensure timely visits to the dentist
A visit to the dentist is recommended as soon as the child develops his first tooth. At your first visit, the dentist will evaluate the risk of your child developing tooth decay and will help you with tips to keep your child teeth healthy and strong. Do not wait until your child starts school or a cavity appears to visit the dentist.
Most of the times parents are of the belief that cavity does not appear on baby teeth, moreover, it is not as important because they tend to fall eventually. However, baby teeth still perform various important functions, like holding the teeth in place for adult teeth to develop and speech development. Children are generally fussy when it comes to brushing, however, remain patient yet stern that they have no choice but to brush their teeth upon waking up and before bedtime.
Aster Clinic, International City (V 20 Russia cluster)