Childhood is a fun phase of a person’s life. Kids get to explore and play, with adults to supervise them. A lot of changes also happen in a kid’s life, such as losing baby teeth and gaining permanent teeth.
However, even if baby teeth aren’t permanent, kids should still take care of it. Teeth problems can affect a kid’s life in a lot of ways, that’s why parents should also be mindful in helping their kids in maintaining excellent oral hygiene.
Read on to know the various reasons why kids need good oral hygiene, and how you can help them do it, and maintain it. Most of the time, kids are highly dependent on adults, so you should be the one to set an example and help them have lasting habits which they’ll carry with them even when they’re all grown up.
Why do kids need to take care of their dental health?
Most kids aren’t inclined to brush their teeth on their own unless an adult makes sure that they do it daily. You may ask, why is it essential to take care of their dental health even when they are still young? Here are a few reasons which you should consider.
Baby teeth can damage your kid’s permanent teeth
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imparted reliable information in 2014 which states that 42% of kids aged 2-11 years old have cavities in their baby teeth. Tooth decay, even for baby teeth, shouldn’t be taken lightly because this can lead to other oral problems. Extreme cases can also prove fatal for children.
How do younger kids acquire tooth decay? Some toddlers fall asleep after drinking milk, and moms don’t immediately remove the bottle not to disturb the child. However, extra exposure can increase the chances of decay. Some kids also don’t have their teeth cleaned thoroughly after meals.
Decay in baby teeth can ruin permanent teeth because there are chances that the rot will spread below the baby tooth. If baby teeth are also removed prematurely because of tooth decay, it can cause irregularities for the placement of the permanent tooth.
Dental problems can affect a child’s daily activities
When a child is sick due to teeth problems, he’ll probably stay at home because he won’t feel well enough to play with his toys or go outside with his friends. If he goes to school, dental issues mean that he’s absent and will miss the things he’s supposed to learn on that day.
Ostrow School of Dentistry conducted a study which revealed that 2.1 days of school absences for elementary kids were due to dental problems, and parents miss 2.5 working days annually to care for kids who have dental issues.
Don’t let your child miss out on fun or educational activities while he’s still young. Your kid can avoid oral problems as long as he maintains good oral hygiene. Your role as a parent is to aid him in keeping good dental habits.
Poor dental health can lead to other health problems
Don’t underestimate the effect of dental hygiene. You might think that your child is experiencing a common toothache today, so it’s no big deal. However, if your child gets used to poor oral hygiene, he can carry these habits when he’s older, and he might experience worse health problems.
The bacteria from the teeth and mouth won’t stay in your child’s mouth forever. It will travel through the bloodstream and lead to heart disease. Other mouth problems like gingivitis can produce bacteria which can move to the brain, lungs, and even disrupt blood sugar levels.
It’s best if your child maintains oral hygiene when he’s young. You can help reduce the risk of your child acquiring worse diseases when he grows older, and he’ll have better health conditions as a whole.
How can you help your child maintain excellent oral hygiene?
As a parent, you can help your child to keep his pearly whites in excellent condition. Here are some of how you can assist him on this matter.
Clean your kid’s mouth thoroughly
When you have toddlers, you have to clean his mouth and teeth (if he already has some teeth growing). Young kids need assistance, so pay close attention to their dental health.
For babies, clean their mouths with an infant toothbrush even if they don’t have teeth yet. Once teeth start to grow, continue the process with a soft toothbrush for kids and add a small portion of fluoride toothpaste.
Let your kid know about the significance of brushing
Encourage your kids to brush their teeth to get rid of bacteria and food particles. Highlight the importance of good oral hygiene, and keep track if they brush their teeth daily. Also, don’t let your kid eat food right before bedtime. Water will do.
Teach your kids to brush properly
Show your kid the proper way of cleaning the teeth. Let him know that he shouldn’t forcefully brush his teeth and gums because this can cause damage and bleeding. The right way is to tilt the toothbrush and brush in small circles for as long as two minutes, but it depends on your child’s number of teeth.
Don’t feed your kid with food and drinks that are high in sugar
Bacteria in your child’s teeth feed on sugar, and it eats away at tooth enamel. Make sure that you keep a close watch on your kid’s diet and avoid food like citric fruit juice, caffeinated drinks, sticky and crunchy food, and soda. Let your kids eat healthy food instead such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk, and lots of water.
Set a schedule for regular dentist appointments
You should get an expert opinion because it is highly useful for you as a parent. There might be certain things that you might overlook, so schedule an appointment for a regular dental check-up.
Search online for sites like markhamdental.ca to avail of services provided by expert dentists. Do this regularly and orient your child so he’ll know that dental check-ups should be a regular thing to do.
Most kids learn their habits during childhood. They’ll carry these habits until adulthood so it’s crucial that you as a parent should teach your child the right habits, mainly when it concerns his health. Dental health affects your child’s health as a whole, so emphasize the necessity of having good oral hygiene and help your child to maintain it when he’s growing up.