ORAL CARE FOR CHILDREN: A GUIDE FOR PARENTS
Oral care for kids is just as important as their general overall health. Understanding that your children’s teeth, including their baby teeth, need optimal care is the first crucial step. For most children, the first deciduous, or primary, tooth will erupt between the ages of 4-6 months. Dental health for kids should start as soon as their first tooth erupts as an infant.
Here are some basic tips to help keep your kid’s beautiful smile:
- Care for infant’s teeth
It is important that your baby’s teeth be kept clean and free of bacteria. As soon as the first tooth erupt his/her dental care should begin. Basic method is to just wipe the teeth using a clean cotton or cloth.
- Prevent ‘Baby bottle decay’
Don’t put your infant or older child down for a nap with a bottle of juice, formula, or milk. Sugary liquids cling to his teeth, feeding bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Give your infant plenty of water after feeding on milk or juice so that his mouth is clean before he goes to bed.
- Brushing and flossing for you toddler
Start using a soft child-size toothbrush around the age of 1 or 2. You should brush your child’s teeth with water at least twice a day. You also can add a small dab of toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride in it. This type of toothpaste is safe for your child to swallow. Once your child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste, you can switch to one that has fluoride. Only use a small amount. Teach your child to spread it among their teeth, gums, and tongue. Have your doctor or dentist show you the right way to brush your child’s teeth. Your child likely will need help brushing their teeth until they are 7 or 8 years old. Around this time, they can start using a larger sized toothbrush. You should switch out toothbrushes every 3 to 6 months or when the bristles look worn. Children should brush their teeth for 2 minutes.
- Role of diet in your kids dental hygiene
Limit sugary foods. Do not let your child have a lot of soda, fruit juice, or sweetened drinks. Limit sweet snacks and drinks between meals. If your child does have sugar, make sure they brush their teeth afterward. When these sugars stay in the mouth for a prolonged period of time, your child is at a higher risk of caries.
- First dental visit:
Your child will need a dental any time after his first birthday. This is important for you to know any risks or precautions you need to take for your kid and also will act as a medium to educate the child regarding dental hygiene.
Call us if your child hasn’t visit a dentist yet! And remember to keep smiling!