Oral Health For Kids And How Parents Guide Them

children's dental health

Oral health is important for everybody, even kids! For kids, tooth decay and cavities are common issues. It can be tough to get your kids to good oral habits but once you guide them, things get quite easier!

 

We have come up with an informative post on oral health for kids and how parents can guide them:

Oral health for kids

Good oral hygiene practices are essential for kids to achieve healthy gums and teeth.

 

Kids are more at risk of getting cavities and developing tooth decay if

  • They eat a poor diet.
  • They eat and drink a lot of sugary foods and drinks.
  • Brushing their teeth less than twice per day.
  • Family members like older brothers, sisters, or parents have cavities.
  • They wear braces or orthodontics or oral appliances.

 

If any of these apply to your kids, talk with your dentist to make sure you are taking extra steps to protect your kids’ teeth.

 

Every child has different needs. Good dental care begins before a baby’s first tooth appears. Even before your baby starts teething, run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria.

 

As a general rule of thumb, dentists recommend ‘you brush and floss your child’s teeth for him until he’s coordinated enough to tie his shoes, usually around age 6.’ Even at that point, you should supervise and remain involved to ensure that your child is brushing properly and doing it thoroughly. Make sure they use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spit it out rather than swallow.

How can parents help to protect their kids’ dental health?

As parents, you play an important role in developing your children’s oral health routine. Neglecting your kids’ dental health is simply not an option. The good news is that there are easy ways to take good care of your kids’ oral health.

 

Parents need to help their kids to develop good oral care, encourage them to eat a healthy diet, and show them that there is no need to be afraid of the dentist. Teach them to follow these steps to protect their teeth and gums:

 

  • Start good oral habits early

Guide them and teach them while they are still young. It will help set your kid up with a bright, healthy smile for their whole life.

 

  • Regular brushing

It is essential to show them the proper way of brushing and flossing their teeth. Teach your child how to clean their teeth at least twice a day. This will help them to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral problems.

 

  • Limit sugary food

A balanced diet is critical for your child to develop strong, healthy teeth. Give them a well-balanced diet that limits large amounts of candy, soft drinks, cookies, or other sugary food and drinks. A child’s diet should include a full range of vitamins and minerals, plenty of calcium, phosphorus, and proper levels of fluoride.

 

Fizzy and sugary drinks are hidden sources of sugar. Make sure that your child is drinking water. If your kids eat sugary foods or take sugary drinks, have them rinse their mouth or brush their teeth to wash away the sugar.

 

Keeping kids away from sugar isn’t always easy, but as far as possible parents should try to encourage healthy snacking habits.

 

  • Regular dental checkups

Apart from teaching your child about oral care routines at home, remind them that regular dental checkups are also important too. Encourage children to see the dentist as a friend, not an enemy. Look for a dentist that welcomes kids and has friendly, patient conduct. If your child needs treatment, explain what is going to happen in a comforting way.

 

A regular dental visit should start as early as six months old or from the time the first tooth erupts. Visit the dentist right away if an injury has led to chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth.

 

  • Make oral care more fun

It’s easy to make brushing fun for kids; all you need is a little creativity. In the beginning, try to make oral care a group activity. Encouragement and reward systems can help them make teeth cleaning a habit.

 

Choose exciting dental care products for kids. An electric toothbrush for kids is a fantastic tool for improving and maintaining your child’s dental health. It creates fun and enthusiasm in kids for brushing their teeth. They just need to place it in their mouth and let the toothbrush do all the work. Electric toothbrushes have been proven to decrease plaque and gingivitis and remove plaque quicker than manual ones. Electric toothbrushes do not hurt your child’s gums or enamel but instead promote overall oral health.

 

Quick note: If you are prone to tooth decay or gum disease, your kids might be at higher risk of cavities. So, sometimes even the best oral care habits can’t prevent a cavity. Talk to your dentist if your child complains of tooth pain.

Final thoughts

Let your kids understand that maintaining good oral care will result in healthy gums and teeth, free from cavities and tooth decay.

 

With a little daily attention to dental care from an early age, kids can have healthy teeth for a lifetime. As parents, the earlier you instill good oral care habits in your children, the easier it will be for them to take over their proper oral care once they are old enough.

 

Hope you enjoyed reading this article! Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts and questions. We would be happy to hear from you!

Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mental healthblog run by Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist. Mental health blog covers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Psychology and relationship counselling.

You may also like...