Tips for Cultivating Good Dental Hygiene in Children
Did you know that good dental hygiene begins before a child’s first teeth even appear? When they’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, the sucking action will build up their muscles and support the jaw.
When bottle-feeding, choose a quality bottle with a well-designed teat to mimic the action of breastfeeding as closely as possible. Don’t let your children fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth either. The sugars in the milk or formula can cause decay over long periods of time.
For more oral hygiene tips for every stage of your child’s life, keep reading below!
As soon as your baby’s first teeth appear they will need to be cleaned. You can do this with a soft cloth and some water. Once they are 18 months of age, you can use a small amount of low fluoride toothpaste that is formulated for children and a soft brush.
Here are some other dental tips for this time of life:
- Weaning – be careful not to substitute breast milk for juice when your child starts eating solids. Juice is extremely high in sugar and it can wreak havoc on new teeth, as well as impacting your child’s overall health.
- Dummy – your child’s dummy (or pacifier) can alter the shape of their palate. Use a dummy conservatively and never dip it in a sweeter such as honey.
All children’s teeth come through in their own time. The best thing you can do is keep an eye on how the teeth are coming through and look after your child’s oral hygiene and comfort. Bonjela or homoeopathic remedies are available over the counter at the chemist and can be used to ease teething discomfort.
Brushing Routines for Toddlers and Older Kids.
Once your child is old enough to be involved in the daily routine, try to get them excited about brushing.
Here are 7 things that you can do to create strong dental habits:
- Brush and floss morning and night! Consistency is very important
- Create your own fun routines, using songs, or characters
- Use colourful, playful brushes
- Brushes with timer lights can help children feel responsible, as well as teaching them to brush thoroughly
- Brushes that have a suction mechanism on the bottom of the handle and stick onto a surface are great. This means they are not left face down gathering germs
- Teach children gentle flossing techniques
- Set a good example with your own oral health routines
Things for Parents to Look Out for
Even with a great routine in place, dental complications can occur. Here are some things that parents can do to maintain their child’s pearly whites:
- Keep sugar to a minimum for dental health and overall health
- Visit the dentist twice a year to check for cavities and alignment problems
- Keep an eye out for oral herpes, ulcers and cold sores
- Be mindful of teeth grinding and talk to a dentist if you notice it in your children
- Let loose teeth come out in their own time – you might have to cut up your child’s food to make eating easier during this time
- Visit a dentist if your child suffers a sports injury – missing teeth can affect the way others come through
- Introduce your kids to the dentist early to create familiarity, confidence and routine
Are you ready to create great dental habits for life? If you live around Woolloongabba, Coorparoo or Holland Park, visit your local friendly dentist at Greenslopes Dental. Make an appointment today .