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10 Tips for Oral Hygiene for Kids
Children are great at washing hands and taking baths before bed. However, brushing teeth is a major challenge for them. It is up to you as the parent or guardian to ensure that their oral health is great. Help them to learn the basics so that they will have great oral hygiene throughout their life. Besides that, you need to ensure that your kids follow the practices you teach them. Here are oral hygiene tips for kids that we at Vita Dental Springs have prepared.
Start dental visits young
Your kid will eventually have to start visiting the dentist at some point and you should start the visits early. Ideally, it should be after the first tooth erupts or about a year after birth. This will help them get used to the dental office. Besides that, it will help the dentist tell you how to care for their oral health from early on.
Never miss a dental appointment for kids
It can be tempting to skip a dental appointment for kids, especially if they look okay. However, you are not a dentist and you do not know what is okay and what is not. Ensure that you make the visits so that kids can have plaque removed from their teeth. This could help prevent gum disease and other oral infections.
Give kids a healthy diet
It can be tempting to give in to the demand of your kids just to calm them down. However, you should note that if you make it a habit to buy them candy and sugary drinks all the time, it could ruin their oral health. Feeding them candy and failing to feed them foods that are rich in calcium and other micronutrients is dangerous and could ruin their oral health.
Monitor their brushing efforts
Kids will scrub their hands and wash themselves very well. However, they may try to take some shortcuts when it comes to oral health. These kids will only brush for a few seconds, spit out; rinse and they are off to bed. However, that is clearly not enough. You need to encourage them to take at least two minutes to brush their tongue, cheeks, and teeth thoroughly.
Be a good example
Kids will usually mimic what they see adults do. If you do not brush your teeth often, do not expect kids to brush either. You need to brush and floss often and make sure they see you do it. They will proudly start brushing their teeth and flossing too just to copy you.
Teach them how to do it
You may assume that your kids will learn how to brush on their own but they may not. It is important to show them how it is properly done. Some will just rub their toothbrush against the teeth without really knowing what they are doing. Take time and be patient with them until they get it right. This way, you can be assured of a lifetime of healthy teeth and no costly dental visits.
Take the bottle away from toddlers
If your toddler often sleeps with the bottle of breast milk in the mouth, you need to remove it. The extended exposure to the milk pooling in the mouth is bad. It has been shown to cause dental issues as the bacteria start growing. As soon as they stop sucking on it, take it out of their mouth.
Check the medication you give them
Sometimes you might notice their oral health is deteriorating despite taking all the above measures. In such a case, you need to check the medication you give them. Talk to your dentist or simply do some research online. This way, you can avoid any dangerous medication that could destroy their teeth. If you find that medication is affecting them, simply talk to your doctor about having the medication replaced if it is possible.
Look for dentists who know how to handle kids
Some dental practices have few or no kids visiting their offices. However, at Vita Dental Spring, you will find that we deal with children all the time. Seek out a competent dental office that understands the unique needs of kids. You can even talk to neighbors and friends to get recommendations. This way, you will know you are getting the best dental care possible.
Educate in a fun way
While the benefits of brushing might seem obvious to you, they are not so obvious to young children. Kids may not see the point of brushing teeth. It is up to you to teach them why they need to brush often. However, you must deliver your lessons in a fun way. If you are too serious or try to force them, they will rebel and it will be much harder to ensure they have good oral health. You can find numerous fun videos online to teach them.
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