Developing Good Oral Hygiene in Children
The biggest concern for any parent is the health and wellbeing of their child, and oral hygiene is the most important part of the overall good health of children. The care of your child’s teeth begins with parents, as they can develop good oral hygiene habits for their children from the very beginning and set them on the right path.
Oral Hygiene for Infants:
Babies are born with all their teeth hidden inside the gums. Parents are not able to see them as they are not visible yet. The first tooth of your child will make its way out around about the age of six months. You can still take care of your baby’s gums, as from healthier gums, healthier teeth will erupt. You must wash your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth after every feed to prevent the buildup of bacteria on the gums.
Once your child’s teeth erupt, use a smear of toothpaste, no more than a grain of rice on a soft bristle toothbrush and brush your baby’s teeth with it. Take the bottle away from your child after he/she finishes the milk. If a child sleeps with the bottle in their mouth it can cause tooth decay due to the milk, juices or other drinks as they contain a high amount of sugars.
Oral Hygiene for Children:
When your child grows up, teach them good oral hygiene practice and instruct them on how to take care of their teeth and gums. Kids have all their baby teeth out by the age of 3. These are primary teeth. They begin to fall around the age of 6 and the permanent or adult teeth start coming in. the adult teeth will complete their appearance by the age of 13.
Tell your child to use a pea-size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush for brushing their teeth and make sure they spit out after brushing as intake of fluoride could be dangerous. Make sure the child brushes at least for 2 minutes each day, twice a day. Begin flossing as soon as the teeth gap is filled in and the teeth touch and instruct your child to make a habit of flossing their teeth after the intake of each meal. Remind your child to take care of their back teeth while brushing and flossing. Take your child to a dentist for a checkup every six months.
Oral Hygiene for Pre-teens:
As children grow up and the adult set of teeth is completed, a more rigorous oral dental hygiene routine is required to keep the gums and teeth strong and healthy. As pre-teens become more conscious of their appearance, it’s good to remind them that good oral health enhances their aesthetic features. Keep reminding them that brushing their teeth twice a day keeps all dental problems at bay and gives them fresh breath. Children who play sports must be instructed to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injuries.
Book an appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist soon after their first birthday. Take your child for a dental checkup every six months. You can consult Dr. Grant Gerety in Tulsa to get your child’s dental needs met.