Parents are directly responsible for their children’s oral health. They will be the first to teach them how to brush their teeth and develop their eating habits, which is why knowing the right steps to teach their children can affect them for the rest of their lives.
Shiny, bright teeth and sparkling smiles are not just aesthetic, but they will mean a lack of pain from toothaches and tooth decay. Strong teeth also allow everyone to eat well and healthy. Moreover, any oral problems like gum disease may eventually lead to other health issues like heart disease.
Here are some top oral care advice for families.
There are still parents out there who do not believe their small children can get cavities or even if they do, that it will damage their permanent teeth in the future. This is why 1 in every 4 young children displays some signs of tooth decay before they go to school. Worse, by the age of 12 to 15, half of all kids have cavities.
Parents should instill the importance of good oral health as early as possible, when the first tooth erupts. They should also use a damp cloth or a soft toothbrush to clean the first teeth. When the child reaches 2 years of age, they can brush their teeth on their own, although they should always be supervised by parents.
Go For Sealants
When the permanent molars come in at 6 years of age, dentists can apply a thin protective coating on these back teeth so that decay is prevented in these pits and fissures. Sealants have been proven to be very successful in reducing cavities, but only 1 out of 3 kids in the US actually receive them. If you are interested in having sealants on your kid’s teeth, then you should check out your dentist’s official website or give them a call.
Fluoride is the most important ingredient in toothpaste, because it makes enamel stronger and thus, will lead to less decay. Most of the water in the US is fluoridated but if yours is not, then the dentist can apply some fluoride on your teeth. Toothpastes and mouthwashes also have fluoride, but too much of it is not good for young children, as it may lead to white spots on teeth.
Proper Brushing And Flossing Habits
Tooth decay is quite common with children but not many people realize that teenagers (3 out of 4) also have bleeding gums, which may lead to gum disease. It is always important for families to stress proper tooth brushing and flossing habits. Brushes should be replaced 3 to 4 times a year and kids with braces need a special type.
Rinse Or Chew Gum After Eating
If able to do so, family members should go brush and floss their teeth after meals, as well as rinse the mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash. If they are outdoors, they can opt to chew sugar-free gum so that saliva flow is increased. Saliva will naturally wash away the bacteria and neutralize any acids in the mouth.
Protect Teeth When Doing Sport
While most school teams require children to wear mouth guards, it is still advisable to use them during other recreational or sport activities like skateboarding. This will prevent any unnecessary damage to teeth.
Tobacco can lead to stains in the teeth, as well as increase the risk of oral cancer and gum disease. For your and your children’s sake, quit. Discourage children as well from starting this habit.
A healthy diet will provide the body all the nutrients it needs, plus some that will lower the risk of gum disease and reduce inflammation. Moreover, it is good to discourage children from indulging in sugary foods and snacks, as they erode tooth enamel. Sticky candies and carbonated drinks should also be avoided at home.
Make Visiting The Dentist A Habit
In the beginning, children should accompany parents to the dentist in order to get a routine check. This is a habit the whole family can continue, because when the parents go, then so do the children. When kids grow up, they continue it out of habit and thus, any problems with teeth or the mouth can be addressed quickly.
Parents want only the best for their families, and part of it is to ensure everyone has perfect oral health and a beautiful white smile.