Isn’t that a great feeling when our little one first smiles, first sits or first walks? I am sure you remember the day when your child first said ma or pa and all the first landmark of our child from eruption of his/her first baby tooth to his first day at school. It’s the first time you realize that it’s possible to love someone so much you feel like your heart is walking outside your body. You are on your tips and toes all the time to make sure your little one is ok. Parenting is most difficult yet most joyful experience. As we take care of our child’s entire general health, it is equally important to take care of his/her oral health.
Oral health care begins even before your child first tooth erupts. Here are some tips for all you new parents to protect your kids smile.
- RIGHT TOOLS
From toothbrush to toothpaste all are different when it comes to tools for cleaning your baby teeth. It is very difficult to establish a good habit of tooth brushing for kids and it gets more difficult if brushing is uncomfortable. So choosing a right tool is very important. Here is what you look in your baby’s brush before buying it:
- Size and Bristles: Size of brush depends on size and age of your child. For infants and baby below 2 years infant finger toothbrush or small and soft bristle toothbrush should be used. For children above 2 years small headed, soft bristled large handle brush should be used which ensures gentleness and allows them to do it on their own. For children above 8 years adult toothbrush with smaller head is used.
- Manual v/s Electric: Both manual and electric toothbrushes are equally good in removing plaque according to various studies. It depends on your kid preference whichever they find more fun to do it.
- Buying a brush with your kids favorite comic character or superhero printed on them will excite and motivate them to brush everyday or allow them to pick their own toothbrush is the easiest way to make brushing fine.
- RIGHT TECHNIQUE :
It is very essential to motivate your kids to brush. Here are some tricks and tips:
Children love to imitate there parents. Brushing together with your kid makes brushing fun. It also gives you chance to monitor your child brushing technique, if they are brushing too hard or missing important and tricky part of mouth.
- It is important to help your child brush at least brush once a day until they develop fine motor skills.
- Make it musical: listening or humming a favorite song together while brushing ensures your children are brushing their teeth long enough to thoroughly clean them. Two minutes brushing is must and child gets restless, it feels to him like eternity – Music help to pass time quicker.
- RIGHT TOOTHPASTE :
Use kid friendly toothpaste. A lot of flavored tooth pastes come in market that can help to make tooth brushing less icky for kids. Don’t make mistake of giving adult toothpaste as they do not like strong mint or cinnamon flavor. Make sure toothpaste contain right amount of fluoride for toddler stronger teeth.
- REGULAR CHECK-UPS :
Dental home: Taking a child to dental home (EKDANTAM dental clinic) as soon as the first tooth erupts helps your child to become familiar and have good relationship with dentist. It becomes easy for dentist to catch diseases early before they can turn up to bigger potential problems.
- Dentist can do preventive treatment like pit and fissure sealant, fluoride application, so that severe dental problem never occurs.
- Dentist is able to monitor child facial development.
COMMON MISTAKES TO BE AVOIDED
- Not starting early enough: Oral cares truly begin even before primary teeth erupt. Parent should use soft cloth; gauge to clean bay gum after each feeding.
- Baby- bottle and Sippy cups at bed time: Children should not be put to bed with bottle of milk or juice as the teeth constantly bathe in sugar leads to early decay of your baby teeth.
- Sports drink: They often have just as many calories and sugar as soft drinks. It is better to give child simple water during sporting event because the kind of exercise the kids are involved rarely requires energy drinks.
- Thinking primary teeth are not important: Primary teeth play very important role in development child speech, face and oral health. Decay in primary teeth can also effect underneath permanent tooth bud, and can lead to crowding of permanent teeth.
- Snacking between the meals: Even starchy food like chips is even more dangerous than candies and sweets. Parents can either substitute these with more fibrous food like fruits, peanuts, almond, walnut, or teach children to thoroughly clean the mouth after snacking.
After all it’s always your responsibility to keep your kid’s teeth clean. Happy parenting!