The most common disease among children is cavities. Cavities occur due to poor oral hygiene – as well as poor feeding habits. When left untreated, cavities are bound to cause a mirage of problems for your child, such as tooth loss, constant excruciating pain, slow learning, and low self-esteem. Luckily, cavities are treatable and preventable.
Here are some simple and effective ways for you to provide the best kids oral care you can for your child;
- Proper brushing and flossing
One misconception that most people love to believe is that children are born with no teeth. In reality, we are all born with teeth. It is just that these teeth are covered by the gums – hence the misconception. Therefore, as early as birth, dental care should be administered gently. Before the teeth start to show, clean the gums twice a day using a clean, soft cloth with warm water, Preferably water with fluoride. These should be done after the infant’s first meal and right before bed to remove the bacteria that have gathered through the day and night.
Once the first teeth begin to show, shift to using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild toothpaste infused with fluoride (consult your dentist on the best toothpaste according to your child’s age). As they grow older, be keen on the flossing to remove any food particles that might have gotten stuck between the teeth, especially for children who have braces on.
Emphasis on the fluoride is because it contains hardening properties that strengthen the enamel, which in turn protects the tooth from corroding as a result of the acid produced in the mouth.
- Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks
Kids love sugary foods, and keeping track of their feeding habits, especially when they are away from you, can be difficult. Train your child to avoid sugary foods and drinks such as sweets and sodas.
However, under unavoidable circumstances such as having to take medication, you will find that liquid medicines have sweeteners aimed at making it easier for the child to drink. There are also fresh juices that they love, which should be healthy but contain sugar and acids that are harmful to the teeth. In such cases, ensure that the child rinses his/her mouth immediately after consumption and that they stick to their daily brushing routine.
- Dentist visits
Every individual is required to visit the dentist at least two times a year. These visits are crucial in the early detection of cavities – hence, they help initiate early treatment. Dentist visits (to a pediatric dentist in London Ontario) are also a great way to ask all those oral questions that you may not understand as a parent or guardian.
Brushing and flossing will not only prevent cavities, but they are also a great way to boost your child’s self-esteem as they can speak and interact with others without the fear of judgment or stigmatization due to cavities or discolored teeth.