It has been reported by health authorities that dental caries and other health issues are among the top medical conditions that affect children worldwide. More children are being checked by dentists due to oral problems than any other diseases and more children are missing school due to dental concerns. Indeed, dental issues in children have been very alarming because these problems can easily be prevented through proper dental care and oral hygiene. Parents play a vital role in this aspect and to help address these problems; here are some essential dental tips.
From 0 to 2 years
This is a very critical stage for the infants as far as teeth health is concerned. It should be noted that babies are born with teeth although these are hidden in the gums during birth and may only start to break around six months. Therefore, proper gum care should be observed since healthy gums results to health teeth.
Tooth decay may happen when babies drink milk, juice, or other sugary liquids from the bottle over a period of time. To avoid tooth decay, the bottle should be taken away after the baby has finished drinking. The usual practice of letting a baby sleep with the bottle should be stopped immediately. This will only hasten the decay of the baby’s teeth.
It is a good practice during this stage to wiping the gums with a clean washcloth or a finger brush after every feeding. This will remove the sticky coating that is commonly known as plaque which can cause tooth decay. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day with a very soft-bristle toothbrush. A Dental appointment should be made before the baby’s first birthday.
From 3 to 5 years
By the time the baby is three years old, he or she should start using fluoride toothpaste when brushing. A good rule of thumb to follow is that the child must be old enough to understand and be able to spit out the toothpaste after brushing. The amount of paste should be the bareminimum and it must be spit out after brushing the teeth followed by rinsing. Dental visits at this stage should be made every six months. Of course the standard twice-a-day brushing should not be forgotten including the replacement of toothbrushes after three months.The baby should break the habit of thumb sucking and use of pacifier by the fourth year.
From 6 to 9 years
During this time the adjacent teeth may be touching already and the child may have enough dexterity to handle floss. As such, it would also be appropriate to teach the child to practice flossing in addition to the regular brushing of teeth. Since most children may find these difficult, it would be best if parent will guide them in the process so as to achieve maximum results also. Be sure to include in your lesson the importance of including the difficult to reach back teeth. It may also be wise to discuss with the child the rapid changes involving baby and permanent teeth: how the baby teeth are teeth lost and new permanent teeth are growing out.The standard discussion also involves the going rate in dollars paid by the tooth fairy for the each tooth lost.
From 10 to 12 years
By this time the proper dental habits should be ingrained in children. Due to tendency to forget, parent should always remind the children to do the dental chores regularly and properly. For those active in sports or any games, this may be the right time to insist on them wearing a mouth guard to protect their teeth.