Your child’s teeth may be temporary, but they are very important, and all the more susceptible to cavities. Milk teeth determine the future health of permanent teeth, and good oral hygiene is therefore very important.
It is not brushing alone that forms good oral care. Everyday habits can make a huge difference, and some of your child’s habits are the major culprit behind tooth decay and cavities.
Here are some habits to steer clear of for the health of your child’s teeth:
1. Thumbsucking or Use Of Pacifiers
For the first few months, or even the first year, it is normal for a baby to suck their thumb and rely on pacifiers for comfort and security. However, as more teeth start erupting, this habit should gradually come to an end.
Thumbsucking and pacifiers transmit germs that lead to tooth decay. Thumbsucking for extended periods also leads to misalignment, especially of the front teeth. This carries on from the milk teeth to the permanent teeth, because milk teeth are placeholders that position the permanent teeth.
2. Bottles Vs Sippy Cups?
“Baby Bottle Tooth Decay” is one of the most common problems in kids between infancy to 3 years of age. It affects mainly the upper front teeth. This happens mainly in children who use a baby bottle or a sippy cup for long periods during the day. It also happens when you put your child to sleep with a bottle.
Using the bottle and sipper cup for long periods transmits germs to the teeth, leading to tooth erosion, caries and premature tooth loss, and the prolonged use of these can also lead to misaligned teeth.
3. Nail Biting
Most kids have a habit of biting their nails, or chewing on toys and pencils. Babies also use teethers to relieve their gums during teething. While chewing is a common habit for teething aged babies, ensure that the teether is clean so that you can avoid infection and cavity-causing germs. Beyond this age, however, put an end to the habit by talking to your child patiently about these habits.
4. Unplanned Snacks
Children need snacks in between meals to keep them full and meet nutrition needs. At the same time, not planning out snacktime can lead to more frequent and random snacking habits, and the sugar content in kids snacks can increase the risk for caries.
To fix this, make sure you set a regular snack time which is the only snack times your kids can have. Offer nutritious foods like fruits or cereals over processed and sugary foods. Also ensure that the kids follow hygiene habits like mouth-rinsing.
Along with making these changes in habits, it’s also important to create the good habit of brushing by making it fun. Start this habit early with kid-friendly toothpaste like the strawberry and bubble fruit flavoured Colgate Kids Toothpaste. With cartoon characters like Motu Patlu, Barbie and Spiderman, brushing feels more like a fun activity than a routine habit for your little one. Remember that milk teeth are extremely important as they are placeholders for permanent teeth, and their health now determines the health of permanent teeth in the future.