Safeguarding your child’s health is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Setting your child up for a healthy life by cultivating the best health habits early on will ensure that they carry those in adulthood. However, with all of the responsibilities modern working parents have, it can be difficult to know where to start. Nonetheless, there are many ways in which you can protect your child’s teeth and start to create a routine which helps them look after their own teeth from an early age. Here are all of the best tips for busy parents trying to cultivate good teeth hygiene for their children in 2023.
Supervise Children Under Seven When Brushing Their Teeth
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to tell your children to just brush their teeth, especially when they’re under a certain age. Children under 7 can sometimes have problems with brushing their teeth, as they are still developing their fine motor skills. Children also learn best by observing, so it’s important to clearly explain all of the important parts of brushing your teeth. As adults, things that seem simple to us are brand new to kids, so they need to be supervised when it comes to cultivating their personal hygiene. Firstly, show your children how you are brushing your teeth, demonstrating all of the different areas you need to brush. Secondly, until you can be certain they’re doing it correctly, you should be supervising their teeth brushing time. Sometimes, children brush too hard and risk damaging their teeth, and sometimes, they can not brush as thoroughly as they need to. This way, you can make sure they’re cultivating the right habits and cleaning their teeth thoroughly. Another thing you should be watching for is in case your child swallows toothpaste- up until the age of 7, you should always be doing the final brush. While this can seem a bit over-the-top, it is the only way to ensure that your children are cultivating good habits.
Fluoride Toothpaste, At Least Twice A Day
Many parents feel a little bit cautious about giving their children fluoride toothpaste too early, however many dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste as soon as the child grows their first tooth at about 3 years of age. However, mouths contain bacteria, and when it reacts with sugar, creates an acid that decays the teeth. Cavities may result when this happens. However, regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste can prevent this from damaging your teeth. Fluoride toothpaste will make your child’s teeth stronger and more resistant to cavity-causing bacteria. When your child turns around 6, they should then be transitioning to using adult high-fluoride toothpaste, which will help them with their gums and dental hygiene. When your child starts using adult toothpaste, make sure that they only use a pea-sized amount to begin with.
Start Flossing (With Permission From Their Dentist)
Flossing is one of the best ways you can protect your child’s teeth and keep them clean and protected from bad bacteria. If you’re really worried about the decay of your child’s teeth, consult with their dentist and maybe consider flossing when the child is about 6 or 7. Cultivating this habit early will only result in a young adult who has a grasp on their own personal dental hygiene, resulting in a confident and self-reliant person. Make sure you are gentle when showing your child how to floss, as you don’t want to cause more harm than good.
Don’t Rinse Their Teeth After Brushing
It is a common misconception that you should rinse your teeth after brushing- however, this can be really harmful for teeth, especially growing teeth. This is because rinsing your mouth with mouthwash or water after brushing removes helpful fluoride from protecting your teeth. We need that fluoride to stay on the teeth, which prevents tooth decay. Instead of rinsing, make sure you encourage your child to spit out as much toothpaste as they can. This way, you will stop the habit and ensure that the fluoride stays on your childs’ teeth, doing its job.
Limit Juice and Fizzy Drinks
Children love fruit juices and fizzy drinks, however making sure you keep these to a minimum is one of the best things you can do for your child’s teeth. The aforementioned mouth bacteria that thrives on sugar loves juice and fizzy drinks. These drinks cause a lot of harm to the teeth, and should be consumed in moderation. Making sure these drinks are eaten with a meal can also limit how much damage the sugar does to your child’s teeth. In between meals, give your child the option between milk or water – water is healthy and hydrating, and cultivating a habit of drinking water in your child is one of the best things you can do. Milk is also high in calcium, which is excellent for strengthening your child’s teeth. Reframing your child’s relationship with fizzy drinks and juice is one of the best ways to encourage your child to be healthier.
Use A Straw For Sugary Drinks
Sipping drinks from a cup allows the drink to pool in the mouth, which can have an extremely harsh effect on your child’s teeth. A straw can mitigate this, as the drink will travel to the back of the mouth instead of collecting on your child’s teeth. It is one small way you can try to protect your child’s dental hygiene as a busy working parent.
Limit Sweets, Cake and Chocolate
Sweets and cakes are some of the most damaging things for your child’s teeth, however it is difficult to cut these out entirely. Limiting sugary foods to mealtimes is better for your child’s dental health, as eating creates extra saliva in the mouth and helps to keep your teeth clean. Limiting these sweets to right after meals helps protect your child from risk of tooth decay. Limiting your child’s exposure to sugars is one of the best ways to ensure your child’s teeth remain healthy.
What To Do If Your Child Experiences Tooth Decay
Are you already noticing that your child is experiencing tooth decay? Are they complaining about tooth pain, or has your child’s dentist already picked up on a cavity? Don’t panic, and make sure you take the next steps. There are many things your child’s dentist can do to help you. Ask about fluoride supplements- this can make your child much better protected against tooth decay. If they need a filling, make sure they have this procedure done as soon as possible. Making sure the cavity is taken care of as soon as possible can prevent further tooth decay. An expert dentist Solihull based has given advice when it comes to taking your child to fill a cavity. They suggest making a trip to the dentist seem fun, so they don’t become scared about the procedure. You should also make sure you take your child to the dentist from an early age, so they become familiar with the process. Make sure they have certain comfort items when you take them to the dentist, if they need extra support during the process.
Looking after your children’s teeth is one of the most important things you can do, and cultivating a lifelong dedication to oral hygiene will only set your child up for success in the future.