Taking care of your child’s teeth and keeping their pearly whites clean and healthy is the first step into building your child’s overall health to be at its pinnacle. A child’s dental hygiene can sometimes be overlooked; with your little one devouring candy and carbonated drinks, even if it’s just occasionally; it can still cause cavities and plaque build-up. Teeth start to emerge in children when they turn six months old and will continue to do so until they’re well into adulthood, it’s essential to take the initiative of good oral hygiene when the first tooth erupts. Brushing teeth can be somewhat of a tedious chore to little ones, and they may do a sloppy job just to get it over with, and let’s not forget our over brushers; bad brushing habits is one of the reasons why your little one may be in the face of poor dental hygiene. These bad brushing habits sometimes follow children as they progress into adulthood, leading to bad teeth and breath. We’ve got some polished tips to care for your little one’s dental hygiene.
Picking The Right Weapons
A toothbrush deems as the sword and toothpaste as the shield, fight away cavities, germs and plaque build-up with a toothbrush that best suits your little one. Get a toothbrush that is designed for kids; they come with smaller oval heads; this allows the toothbrush to reach every corner of your child’s mouth and the oval shape prevents any poking or accidental stabbing inside the mouth. Children toothbrushes have super-soft bristles to avoid bleeding gums from abrasive brushing. Novelty or not, electric toothbrushes or cartoon-themed ones are a great way to get your little one to take an interest in proper brushing habits.
Opt for low-fluoride toothpaste and only use a pea-sized amount if your child is seven or under. Flavoured toothpaste will make the chore a little more exciting, and there’s plenty for your little on to choose from, ironic as it may be, candy flavoured toothpaste is a favourite. You can skip the toothpaste altogether if your little one is still the training phase and get them to brush with water alone. Nevertheless, fluoride is an important part of dental hygiene; it is needed to reduce cavities and to make teeth strong.
Many of us overlook flossing as it seems sort of unnecessary, but it’s just as important as brushing. Flossing removes plaque build-up that forms in the crevices and the spaces between teeth, reaching places toothbrush bristles can’t. Get your little one into the habit of flossing at least once a day when they turn three years old. Holding on to a strand of floss can be tricky in little hands, so ones that come with handle grips are a great quick fix until they get the hang of it.
The Right Brushing Habits
Teaching your little one how to brush their teeth right way should begin when they’re just babies or at least when that first tooth starts to erupt. Sit your toddler down on your lap facing a mirror, move the toothbrush in slow circles and be sure to be gentle on the teeth, applying only a teensy bit of pressure. Brush the outer and inner side of each individual tooth don’t forget the gums and tongue! But be extra gentle as it can cause discomfort if you’re too abrasive with the brush. The molars or the chewing part of the teeth can be tricky and harder to clean as they’re far in the mouth, brush back and forward on the surface, and the sides, get the toothbrush right at the back of the molars and brush gently. Get your child to spit out the toothpaste, even if no toothpaste is used for training purposes, encourage them to spit it out anyways.
After a couple of demonstrations, let your little one takes over the wheel and brush their teeth themselves but supervise, especially on the pressure they’re applying and if they’re getting every nook and cranny. Your toddler may have the need to apply more pressure than needed, having an over brusher on our hands. Also known as toothbrush abrasion, over brushing can wear down the enamel on the teeth and damage the gums, pushing them back and exposing sensitive root area of the mouth; guide them to take it down a notch. Many adults are guilty of over brushing too, especially when they’re in a rush but it’s just as bad as cutting your brushing routine short.
Mouthwash: Yay or Nay?
It’s a definite yay for children six years and above! Mouthwash provides your little ones with an extra dose of cavity-protecting fluoride. Alcohol-free mouthwashes that are formulated for children are safe in small quantities. Ensure that your little one rinses their mouth thoroughly without swallowing any of the liquid, a few practices round with water will have them well on their way. Mouthwashes that are designed for children come in a bunch of exciting flavours like grape or blueberry, which will get them wanting to take care of their dental hygiene without looking at it as a chore.