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Top Oral Care Tips for Children

Dad and son brushing their teeth.

Raising a child is not easy. You need to take care of so many things to ensure your child get the lives they deserve. One important thing every parent should be mindful of is the child's oral health, especially during their growing years.

Children are very fond of sweet foods, especially the ones that have high sugar concentration. Unfortunately, high-sugar items are the worst types of food for the teeth and gums. So, it is very crucial to take special care of their teeth and overall oral hygiene in little kids.

Let’s get into discussing some tips to ensure the same.

Oral Hygiene for Infants

Contrary to popular belief, babies are born with a full set of 20 developing primary teeth. With enough time, which is about six months in most cases, your baby's teeth will begin to peep out of their gums.

Once the teeth are visible, it is time to start taking good care of them. Some experts even suggest getting started with the oral care regime even before the first tooth pops out. This is important since healthy gums determine healthy teeth. Nonetheless, here are a few tips to help you take good care of the child’s teeth.

  • Make sure you wipe your baby's gums after feeding them. This is important to rid of bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay at an early age.

  • After the child is done drinking its milk, make sure you take their bottle away to prevent tooth decay. There have been countless cases where babies suffer from tooth decay when drinking baby food, milk, or juice from the bottle for a prolonged period. Besides that, falling asleep with the bottle can also result in tooth decay.

  • Once the teeth begin to appear, it is time to start brushing them at least twice a day. Make sure you use a fluoride toothpaste in small quantities, such as a little smear. Additionally, it would be best if you use a soft-bristle toothbrush when brushing.

  • Schedule a visit to a trusted dentist or pediatric specialist before your child turns a year old or right after their teeth erupt. Take this opportunity to determine if your baby's teeth and gums are normal. If not, you can take early corrective measures to deal with the problem.

Oral Hygiene for Your Children

Parents can barely keep up with the pace at which children grow. However, you need to be mindful of changing your child's oral hygiene routine during these rapid growing years. In most cases, kids will have all their baby teeth by the time they reach the age of 3. These baby teeth are also known as primary teeth.

The primary teeth do not last for long, and they are most likely to start falling out around age 6. They will however have their primary molars for a quite a few more years. Following this, the adult or permanent teeth will start growing, and there may be little gaps in between, which is normal. The permanent set of teeth should be complete by the time your child reaches 13. There are a number of things you can do to establish good oral hygiene for your child right from the tender age of 1 (not 3.). Some of the following tips can come in handy.

  • Make sure that your child brushes their teeth twice a day.

  • Visit your pediatric dentist at least twice a year.

  • Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth and make sure they spit it out after brushing.

  • Start flossing their teeth as soon as adjoining teeth begin to touch each other. Experts even recommend starting early to develop a good lifetime habit.

  • Assist your child when brushing and flossing their teeth to ensure they do not miss out on any back teeth until they can tie their shoes independently.

Oral Hygiene for Your Preteens

Your children begin growing at birth and continue growing well into their teens. Their preteens are when they are most likely to have all of their permanent teeth. So, it is crucial to ensure effective oral hygiene right from the beginning.

It will most definitely be challenging to get preteens excited about oral hygiene. However, you must remind them of the consequences that come with ineffective oral hygiene. Here are a few oral hygiene tips for your preteen.

  • Flossing is very important at this age because most of the permanent teeth are already up by this point. Cleaning between the teeth is the best way to prevent cavities and keep the mouth fresh at all times.

  • Your preteens are likely to become more cautious about their visual appearance at this age. So, make sure to take this opportunity to remind them about the significance of good oral hygiene. A beautiful smile can go a long way in terms of boosting their confidence.

  • Preteens is also the age where children are more likely to get involved in sports and games. Make sure your kid wears a mouth guard while playing fast-paced and contact sports to mitigate the chances of a tooth injury.

  • Keep reminding your preteens to brush their teeth at least twice a day for a minimum duration of 2 minutes. This will help fight cavities and strengthen their teeth while giving the kids the confidence of having fresh breath. You can even get an electric toothbrush for the kid to make brushing a more fun experience.

  • If your kid has been wearing braces, ask them to take special care of their teeth for obvious reasons. They need to practice regular brushing and flossing to avoid any white spots when the braces finally come off.

Final Thoughts

Oral hygiene is a lifelong practice that never loses its significance, no matter the individual's age. But, of course, the hygiene routine has to change as kids pass through different stages of their lives. It is up to the parents to inculcate these habits in children for the best smile.

If you are looking for a seasoned pediatric dentist, contact The Children's Dental Center to get the best possible dental care for your little ones.

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