Poor dental health in children can affect their capacity to eat, communicate, and interact with others. The pain and discomfort from sore teeth or unhealthy gums are enough to change a child’s life. Therefore, the prevention of oral diseases and tooth decay is a mandatory task.
Unfortunately, children are not always compliant with good dental health practices. They require a lot of motivation and supervision. Here are top tips for looking after children’s teeth
Visit the Dentist
Generally, children should visit their dentist every six months. This recommendation is essential for kids two years and above since their dental development is advanced. Although most children dread dental visits, many dentists have refined their approach to children to ensure all visits go smoothly. Furthermore, some dentists have set up exclusive pediatric clinics designed to cater solely to children.
As a parent, you can also motivate children by rewarding every visit with a meal out or a fun day. It’s also essential to prepare children for their dental visits. Communicate their appointment in advance, maintain the same oral routines and have a proper medical history of the child for the last six months.
Reward Excellent Behaviour
Children enjoy receiving praise for an accomplishment. Therefore, rewarding good behaviour is an excellent way of motivating children to maintain good oral practices. For example, if your child has brushed their teeth successfully, you can grant them access to their favourite toys or game. A trip to the zoo or game park may be a good reward if they maintain the routine for a month.
Positive reinforcement is great for children, and it helps build good habits. The reward system can also work well for visits to the dentist and other practices like eating healthy.
Create An Oral Routine
Beginning early is the best strategy to establish a good habit. As a result, it is essential to create easy routines for oral care that a child can pick up and follow. If the plan succeeds, you will not have difficulty convincing your child to clean their teeth. Nevertheless, it’s important to set up a routine that is easy to follow. For example, brushing can be included in the bedtime routine; therefore, the child brushes, gets a bedtime story and goes to bed. Eventually, the child gets acclimated to the habit, and brushing the teeth comes naturally.
Implement Good Oral Habits
Tiny, regular changes significantly influence the overall dental health of a child. Oral habits such as washing their mouth with water after eating will significantly reduce the bacteria and acids that cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. In addition, brushing their teeth thoroughly helps maintain their teeth and gums. Therefore, teaching a youngster to wash their teeth regularly every day will go a long way. Furthermore, it is equally important to restrict them from consuming a lot of carbonated beverages, sucking lollipops, and eating sour candies and other sugary foods. The tooth’s enamel is weakened by such foods, resulting in cavities and the need for advanced dental work.
Fluorides and Dental Care
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that supports healthy dental enamel; drinking tap water and using toothpaste with fluoride are two excellent ways to encourage sturdy enamel. White spots, however, can result from early exposure to high amounts of fluoride. Although it’s safe, the effect on the colour of teeth is irreversible. Therefore, it’s advisable to use pediatric toothpaste solutions to avoid exposure to high fluoride levels. Moreover, take caution if you are using water from a borehole. Ensure you know the fluoride levels.
Participate in Brushing Routines
Naturally, children enjoy imitating their parents. As a result, an excellent motivation to brush teeth is parents joining in. Brushing together also ensures children see the correct technique for cleaning their mouths. You can make things fun by adding music or dance to the practice. If kids see parents enjoying something, they will want to be involved.
Good dental hygiene and health are important for a child; however, they need help to keep up with the routines. Therefore, offer motivation, get involved and always book a follow-up appointment with the dentist. Keep your child smiling.