Dental problems such as cavities, tooth decay, toothache, to name a few are common among kids. Limiting the intake of chocolates or sweetened foodstuff, though useful, may not be enough to safeguard your child from a myriad of dental problems. While most parents go out of their way to keep their child hale and hearty, the oral health often gets neglected. Even a small mistake or negligence on your part can cost the baby and their teeth dearly. Here is a quick look at some of the vital oral care tips to ensure your little munchkin enjoys a disease-free oral health.
Visit the dentist often:
We often make the mistake of visiting a dentist only when there is a problem. In fact, most dentists suggest that dental care for kids should start right from the moment their first tooth comes out. Regular dental check-ups (once in every three-four months) can go a long way to lower the incidences of cavities and tooth decay in kids.
Proper brushing of teeth:
Parents often allow the kids (below 6-7 years) to brush their teeth on their own without any assistance. Though this may appear to be a healthy practice, unassisted brushing of teeth in kids can prove to be a big mistake for the oral health. Alone, children (below 7 years with a weak or developing motor skills) may not be able to clean all the surfaces of the teeth efficiently. Eventually, what was supposed to benefit the child ends up doing them more harm than good. Thus, an adult should always be around to guide the child properly while brushing or cleaning the teeth.
Brush before sleeping:
Many parents can be seen feeding the baby before putting them off to sleep. While there is no harm in feeding, putting the child off to sleep without cleaning the mouth and the teeth can have deleterious consequence. More than often, this unhealthy practice facilitates the growth of some oral bacteria triggering tooth infection and decay. While feeding the baby formula milk or similar sweetened baby foods using a feeding bottle, refrain from keeping the baby with the bottle for long (the sugar from the fluids will be all around the baby's teeth and gums, serving as an ideal environment for the oral bacteria such as Lactobacillus species and Streptococcus mutans to thrive).
As recommended by most dentists, the teeth should be brushed thrice daily, including before retiring to bed at night. For small babies, make a habit of wiping the mouth properly with a soft and clean cloth after every feeding.
Take care while choosing the foods for your child:
Some foods can act as a catalyst accelerating the incidence of cavities and tooth decay. Refrain from using fruit juice or fruits (or use in a limited amount) that come with a high sugar content. In fact, the impact of fruit juice on the teeth is almost the same as that of carbonated and soda cold drinks and beverages. The other unhealthy options for the oral health include foods rich in simple carbohydrates such pastries, cookies, chips, crackers, pasta and chocolates, and candies. These foods speed up the plaque acids formation that causes extensive damage to the teeth.
If you want to keep cavities and tooth decay at bay, include more of fibrous and vitamin enriched fruits and vegetables to the diet. The dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt (unsweetened and unflavored) are laden with vitamins and calcium that shields the teeth from cavities. It is also a healthy practice to sip water throughout the day.