The best way to protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay and gum disease is to emphasize on oral hygiene. Good oral health helps kids enjoy their food better, have clear speech and beautiful smiles. The best time to start focusing on your child’s dental hygiene is from the moment the first tooth erupts i.e. 6 to 9 months of age.
The following are some important guidelines to help your child maintain oral hygiene.
1. Brushing And Flossing
A good dental hygiene regimen comprises of brushing and flossing daily. Brushing should be done with proper technique. Teach your child how to brush gently. Encourage your child to brush all the surfaces of teeth i.e. inner as well as outer. Even the tongue should be cleaned using a tongue cleaner to get rid of bacteria. Brushing twice a day with an accepted fluoride toothpaste is highly recommended. Also, flossing between the teeth and beneath the gum line prevents formation of tartar.
2. Dental Visit
The American Dental Association recommends the first dental visit to be no later than a child’s first birthday. Frequent visits to the dentist will keep your child’s teeth plaque free. This will ensure that cavities are treated immediately before they grow into a bigger problem. In addition to this, the dentist will keep a tab on your child’s tooth development and spot orthodontic problems early. They might also recommend sealants to prevent the formation of cavities.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps to strengthen the tooth’s enamel and prevent tooth decay. Check out with your local water district to see how much fluoride is contained in the water you drink. Your dentist can recommend fluoride toothpaste depending on age of the child.
4. A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet aids the process of maintaining oral hygiene. Good oral health sans a good diet defeats the purpose. Your child’s diet should include calcium, phosphorous and other natural minerals. Discourage frequent snacking specially on foods like cookies, candies, soft drinks, potato chips etc. The combination of these foods with plaque on teeth creates acids, which attack the tooth enamel causing cavities.
5. Add An Element Of Fun
To make oral hygiene less of a chore and more of a fun activity, try adopting the following tips:
• Use a fun toothbrush with your child’s favourite cartoon character.
• Use brightly coloured sand timers to encourage your child to brush for the right amount of time.
• Use flavoured anti-cavity fluoride toothpastes.
• Show your child a fun video on dental hygiene.
• Create a reward system e.g. awarding cute stickers for brushing twice a day.
6. Be A Good Role Model
As parents and caretakers, we are our children’s role models. If we adopt good oral hygiene, our children are bond to follow the suite. So practice what you preach and it will be easier for your kids to keep up with their oral health.
To schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry, visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call at (512) 717-5315.