Tips for Parents on Caring for Children’s Oral Health

March 4, 2019 By Dr Sarika Shah 0
Children’s Oral Health

Healthy adult teeth begin in childhood. It is essential that children learn how to care for their teeth properly, so they experience good lifelong oral health.

Tooth brushing can be challenging, especially with toddlers. Teeth have to be brushed, so get creative!  

Teach Them Good Habits

Children mimic adults they look up to, so be a good role model and demonstrate excellent oral health habits. Brush and floss your teeth with your kids. Take turns brushing each other’s teeth.

Teach them to use only a rice-sized amount of toothpaste until they learn not to swallow the toothpaste.

Remind them not to share cups, bottles, or dummies with other kids because this can lead to oral infections.

To make brushing more fun consider using rewards such as a sticker chart or letting them pick their favourite character-based children’s toothbrush and toothpaste.

Referred Tooth Friendly Food for Kids

Most children need encouragement to make healthy eating choices, lean meats, cheese, fruit, and vegetables are all great for your child’s oral and overall health.

Have your child help buy the food and always have healthy food options available. Children who help prepare the meal are more likely to try new things as well.

Save treats or foods with sugar and starch for mealtimes because this reduces their potential to cause cavities.

Brushing Teeth and Gum Line Twice a Day

Good oral health habits begin with learning the proper technique. Show your child how to hold their child-friendly toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line, and scrub gently against the gums.

Demonstrate how to brush their teeth in small, gentle circles over the backs, tops, and front of the teeth. Encourage them to brush their tongue too. You can do this for them until they can do it themselves. Supervised brushing is recommended until about age seven. 

Spitting out the toothpaste is the fun part, but don’t rinse because you want them to reap the benefits of the fluoride in the toothpaste. 

Teach your children how to floss between each tooth. If they are struggling, try a pre-threaded flosser or ask them to lean back against you, tilting their head with their mouth open so you can floss their teeth.

If this step is introduced into the daily routine early on, they will be less likely to skip flossing as an adult.

Brushing Fun with Play Music

For clean and healthy teeth everyone needs to brush their teeth for about two minutes. To make this fun for your kid’s daily routine, use a musical timer, play music or even sing a song together. This will help your child look forward to brushing twice a day, and it won’t seem like a chore. 

Use a Toothpaste with Fluoride

Special low-fluoride toothpaste for toddlers can be used from eighteen months to three years old. Once they understand not to swallow the toothpaste, from three to six years old, they can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Replace Toothbrushes Frequently

A moist toothbrush is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Replace your child’s toothbrush every three months or when the bristles become frayed. A fun way to remember to switch out their toothbrush is to replace it each time the season changes.

Visit the Dentist Twice a Year

Before your child visits the dentist, talk to them about what to expect. A dental hygienist is specially trained to calm your child’s nerves and clean their teeth gently. Book biannual visits to the dentist to keep your child’s mouth healthy, and so they can become accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells of the dental surgery.  

Conclusion

Good oral health habits should be a part of your child’s daily routine but make it fun.  Teeth can be counted, tickled and even admired to help keep the mouth open long enough for brushing.