Oral hygiene is an essential part of oral health and the role of parents at home is just as important. Taking care of your child’s teeth and gums are only possible if you as the parent take active responsibility in ensuring quality oral hygiene is maintained at home. Positive oral health is important for tooth and speech development. Therefore, taking care of oral hygiene at home can ensure any oral concern is significantly reduced, making way for a happy and healthy smile.
Looking after oral hygiene should be fun for children. You can help make oral hygiene fun at home by:
- Letting children use a toothbrush that they like, such as a favourite colour or character.
- Reward children for looking after their teeth. Do not give them foods that damage teeth but offer something healthy or a small present they can use.
- Buy a dental kit they can play with.
- Create a dental chart so they can maintain brushing their teeth every day.
Now to the more serious part. Setting up an oral hygiene plan for your child is a great way to make sure they keep up with positive hygiene habits. Ensure your child follows these oral hygiene tips at home.
Oral hygiene should start when your child is a baby. If the age of your child is between 1 to 3 years of age, use a child-size toothbrush and brush their teeth with water. If your child is older between 7 to 8 years old, ensure they use a small dab of toothpaste on their brush.
The role of the parent should be to support your child with brushing their teeth by demonstrating to them how to brush. Ensure you brush their teeth in a circular motion at a slow speed on all contours of the teeth. When your child becomes 7 to 8 years old and beyond, they should be able to brush their teeth themselves. Ensure your child also brushes their tongue as the tongue carries the most bacteria.
Diet and Lifestyle
Poor oral health stems from the food and drink you consume. Children that eat sugary food and drink are at greater risk of developing cavities. Therefore, ensure you’re feeding your child with healthy food choices. Avoid high-levels of sugar such as sodas and fruit juices. Consider feeding your child with calcium-rich, fibre foods that keep teeth strong such as dry nuts, vegetables, dairy products (milk and cheese).
Fluoride is safe for children and can help prevent cavities in your child’s teeth. The mouth contains bacteria that feed on any plaque and sugar to produce acid. Fluoride ensures extra protection of teeth, keeps them stronger and makes them resistant to acid. A dentist can recommend the best fluoride toothpaste for your child’s teeth.
Children will always seek to follow parent actions. This also includes how to look after oral health. Therefore, as a parent, ensure that you carry out quality oral health and it is likely your child will follow. If your child asks any oral health related questions, you can always contact the dentist for further advice. Ultimately, you want to ensure the child can self-serve themselves to look after their teeth and be able to understand why looking after their oral health is important.
Are you seeking to book an appointment in for your child at the dentist? Our Lotus Dental team would be delighted to welcome your child to our practice. Contact us now and book an appointment.