Every parent would want his or her child to have a beautiful cavity free smile. But the question is, how to maintain such beautiful smile??
- Give your child a happy atmosphere to live in which will always let your child be automatically happy and smile.
- A pretty smile comes from healthy, cavity free teeth, so as a parent you will have to help your child keep the teeth healthy and intact.
As it is said, “Dental health leads to overall health.” If your child is having healthy and cavity free teeth, he or she will be able to eat much better, will have a better health, and will be more happy.
The milk teeth (Deciduous teeth) are as important as the permanent teeth and should be preserved till the time they shed. Not only is it painful when there are cavities in our mouth but also kids loose their confidence when the anterior teeth are decayed, due to a not so pretty smile, they loose a lot of time when they are in pain, and could have done so much on those days when they had to miss school.
There are a lot of things parents can do to help their children have a caries free mouth.
1. Never put your child to sleep with a bottle filled with milk of juices
Anything that sticks to your babies teeth for a long period of time attracts a lot of germs and thus can cause bacteria to accumulate on the surface of the teeth causing dental caries or cavities. So, as a parent it is our duty not to make our children sleep with anything sweet in their mouth as it can initiate cavities.
If your child is in the habit of sleeping with a bottle in the mouth, make sure it is nothing but just drinking water (for kids above the age of 6 months). This will help prevent cavities and let the surface of the teeth be clean.
2. Start brushing early
The earlier you start the better it is. It will help in forming a habit of brushing and kids will not resist brushing of teeth as they grow up (as it is a very common complain among the parents).
Brushing of kids teeth should start as soon as the first tooth erupts in the babies mouth and cleaning of the babies gums and the tongue should start at birth itself.
You can take a clean cotton cloth or a gauge piece, wrap it around the finger and gently clean the babies gums and tongue.
Once the teeth start erupting, you can use a silicone finger brush and start brushing, slowly you can shift to a kids age appropriate toothbrush.
Brush your child’s teeth yourself till the age of at least 6 years and supervise them till 10 years of age.
Below is the link for our earlier post regarding exciting ways to get your toddler to brush their teeth.
3. Avoid sticky food
Sticky food is one of the main culprits of caries in children. Chocolate, chips, biscuits, lollipops, candies all stick to the surface of the teeth and stay there for a long time, attracting the bacteria on the surface of the tooth which in turn releases acids, causing the decay of the tooth. It is better not to introduce these food items to your child as long as you can.
The best thing to do if your child likes all this sticky food is to give it only once a day and make your child brush immediately after they are done eating. This will help preventing the caries and also letting child be aware of his or her oral health care.
4. Serve juice only during the meal times
Juice is another sweetener (especially the artificial juices), that causes dental caries as it forms a layer over the surface of the teeth. So, the juice should only be given to the child during the meal time so that it doesn’t stay over the surfaces for a very long time.
5. Visit a Pedodontist on your child’s first birthday or within 6 months of eruption of your child’s first tooth
Many parents say, “Why to visit a dentist for such a small child when their is no problem and that too for milk teeth?”
But what they don’t understand is milk teeth are as important as the permanent teeth and a dentist is the best person to tell you in case anything is wrong with your child’s teeth.
A visit to a pedodontist (kid’s dentist) is very important and should be done at the child’s first birthday or within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth. This develops a habit of a annual dental check up and also prevent a problem at an early stage if their is any.
6. Give your child a balanced diet
Including raw food in your child’s diet such as fruits, salads, nuts are very important for the health as well as for the teeth. Avoid junk food as well as sweet food as it is harmful and is habit forming as well.
The habits once developed in the childhood will continue when your child grows up.
7. Use an appropriate amount of kids fluoridated toothpaste
If the fluoride levels in your drinking water is not high it is advised to use fluoridated kids toothpaste for your child.
Non fluoridated toothpaste just cleans the tooth surface but doesn’t prevent cavities. So, it is advised to use a grain size of kids age appropriate toothpaste for kids under the age of 3 years and a pea size of kids age appropriate toothpaste for kids above the age of 3 years.
8. Be a role model
Children tend to do what they see. If they see you brushing everyday and avoiding sticky food, they will eventually start coping it and doing the same for themselves as well.
Brush your teeth in front of them morning and night and this will give them a desire to do the same.
9. Give your child plenty of water everyday
Water is a neutralizing agent and helps clean off all the sticky food and acid that might have been produced. Give your child plenty of water through out the day. It is not just good for the teeth but also for the rest of the body.
10. Teach them the importance of maintaining oral hygiene
Tell them why brushing is important and why it is important not to eat too much of sweets and sticky food.
They will understand if you keep explaining it to them and also tell them the consequences of not brushing and not maintaining a good oral hygiene.
Show them pictures of kids with decayed teeth. Also show them videos of kids brushing their teeth and having beautiful smile.
Tell them how important the teeth are and also what it means to have a beautiful smile.
11. Never blow on your child’s food or milk
Often we tend to blow on our children’s food or milk in order to make it a little warm. But this should be completely avoided. A child’s mouth doesn’t have any cavity causing bacteria when they are born. Blowing on the food, of kissing them on the lips, tend to spread the bacteria from our mouth to their’s. So, it should be completely avoided.