Tooth decay in children has become a problem for every parent in the modern era. This article is an ultimate guide to preventing tooth decay in your child.
When should kids start brushing to prevent tooth decay?
Good dental care in a child begins before the first tooth appears in the oral cavity. Even before teething starts, run a damp cotton cloth on the gums of the baby to clear away harmful bacteria. You can also clean your child’s mouth and massage gums with a soft silicone finger brush. It is available in all baby stores. It not only prevents tooth decay but also helps in teething.
The first teeth in a baby’s mouth start erupting at 6 months of age and it is called teething. This time on, they are exposed to a variety of processed foods. If not cleaned properly, this processed flour sticks to the milk teeth and allows the oral bacteria to multiply and release substances that cause tooth decay. This is early childhood caries.
So start brushing the teeth with an infant toothbrush and a little bit of fluoridated toothpaste.
In an older child, make brushing a game that he or she enjoys. Try to involve with your kids while brushing. The family who brushes together smiles together. Use the toothpaste only when the child learns to spit. Just a small smear on a kiddy toothbrush is sufficient once they are able to spit and rinse. This helps in preventing tooth decay in your child.
As a general rule, parents should brush the child’s teeth till the child learns to tie his or her shoelaces on their own. This means that their motor movements are well developed to an extent that they can brush their teeth well.
Always supervise kids younger than 8 years while brushing.
Tips and guidelines to prevent tooth decay in children
Many parents know that they want to prevent dental caries in their children, but they don’t know how much dental care their kids need. Here are some tips and guidelines to prevent tooth decay in your toddlers:
Do not put the child to sleep with a bottle of milk. It is the primary reason for caries in children. This can lead to ‘’nursing bottle caries’’ or ‘’baby bottle tooth decay’’. The front teeth can get discolored, pitted, and decayed.
When kids are 6 months old, they can switch from a bottle to a sippy cup. This will prevent the liquid from pooling around a child’s tooth.
Discontinue the bottles, by one year of age.
Delay the introduction of sugar in your child’s food as long as you can. Avoid sugary foods and candies and if your kids eat them, have them brush their teeth or rinse their mouths. The same should be followed in the case of sweetened liquid medicines. Always have kids rinse or brush afterward. Try to limit the consumption of sugary items, especially before bedtime.
Use fluoridated toothpaste for kids with a minimum of 500 ppm of fluoride. Teach kids to brush at least twice daily and floss regularly.
Prefer fresh fruits and veggies over the canned juices for your child. Let your child chew cucumbers, carrots, apples, etc., and have fun with them. They are healthy and filling, and their detergent action helps in cleaning the teeth too.
Don’t give anything that comes out of a box, as a rule of thumb. Carbonates drinks or canned juice is a big no-no. These drinks are acidic and can damage the baby’s teeth. This is helpful in preventing tooth decay in your child.
Home-made food with natural ingredients will introduce the child to a world of different tastes.
When should kids see a dentist?
The child should see a dentist by their first birthday. At this first visit, the dentist will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques. A dental visit every 6 months will work wonders for your child’s pearly whites. You should prepare your child for the first dental visit. If there is a risk of dental caries or any other problem, the dentist may start with a topical fluoride application.
As permanent teeth grow in your child’s mouth, your dentist can help in preventing decay by applying a layer of pit and fissure sealants to the back teeth. This will prevent cavities in molar teeth but your child should know that sealants are not a replacement for good brushing habits.
Good oral health and hygiene begin at home. So why not introduce your child to good oral habits at an early age, to ensure good dental health for the lifetime? Encouraging your child for regular brushing and flossing and working with your dentist will definitely ensure good dental health. Visit Shubham Dental Clinic in Hisar for more tips and guide for your child.