Oral hygiene is an essential part of our life. Clean and healthy teeth not only give you ‘no disease teeth’ but also boosts your overall health and confidence.
Unhealthy oral hygiene can lead to cavities, bad breath, enamel loss/damage, and other oral diseases. Brushing is a vital part of healthy oral hygiene and there are few steps that your kids need to follow to have a happy smile.
From the very first day of teething, proper oral care will benefit your baby throughout their lives. Your baby’s teeth may be temporary for a few years waiting to be replaced by permanent teeth, however, it is extremely important to establish the habits of taking care of his teeth. A broken or decayed tooth can interfere with your baby’s speech development and even nutrition.
If your baby is 2 years or less, be very cautious with brushing. When you see the first tooth make sure you follow the below steps:
- Get a dentist prescribed super soft brush for your baby as hard bristles can damage their gums and teeth and even break them.
- Avoid using toothpaste as your child might swallow it
- Follow a routine of brushing for 2-3 times a day
- Let your child play with the brush or brushing. It has to be a fun activity instead of a tedious job for them
- Brush their gums too! Pediatrics always recommend cleaning your child’s gums after feeding which helps fight bacterial growth. Rather than using a hard-bristled brush, use a soft cloth and rub gently against their gums to clean them.
Toddlers and Growing kids
This is the age where your kids develop certain habits and keeping your teeth healthy is one of them. At this age, kids change their technique on their own! A big blog of toothpaste, brushing for a few seconds and making a mess all around are a few things children tend to do at this age and you need to keep an eye on their dental care habits and make sure they clean their teeth and gums properly. Here are a few steps you should take:
- Let them brush their teeth. Supervise and if they are not doing it right, explain the right way to do it
- Don’t forget the tongue, cleaning the tongue is as important as cleaning the teeth because it helps to clear bacteria from the mouth and also improves the tongue’s appearance.
- Ask them to spend at least 2 to 3 minutes brushing and focus on the back molars more as they are more prone to cavities
- The toothpaste must be limited to the size of a pea as it is enough to clean the mouth. Some children have a bad habit to cover their brush with a layer of toothpaste. Well, that’s a wrong practice!
- Change the toothbrush every 3-4 months and teach them not to share a toothbrush with others
- You can start flossing their teeth when there are two or more teeth, however, instead of using regular flossing string, go for floss sticks
- When your child’s age is 6 or more you can also use a dentist-prescribed fluoride rinse to keep the cavities away
- Explain the importance of brushing and don’t let them go to bed without it. We understand it’s difficult to get up when you’re all sleepy and brush your teeth, but it’s extremely important to clean the bacteria and food residue that has been sitting in your mouth the whole day!
- If your dentist has not advised it, don’t use any products on your own
Kids over 8
- Kids who are 8 or more can go solo and brush their teeth themselves. However, you still need to make sure they are brushing and flossing their teeth regularly
- Supervise them or brush together to see if they are doing it the right way
- Getting into a habit of brushing is important and by the time your kid reaches age 8 or more they should have a habit of brushing at least twice a day as brushing at the end of the day is equally important as brushing in the morning.
- Check if they have developed any cavities, if yes, immediately see their dentist and get it treated.
To lead by example parents should follow the below for themselves and their children
- See a dentist at least two times a year for cleanings and checkups
- Limit sugary and acidic food as it can harm the enamel of your teeth
- Have more fruits, and vegetables instead of junk food
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks/sodas
- Brushing, flossing, and mouth wash are an important part of oral hygiene
- If you feel any discomfort in your mouth or if you notice any warning signs, this is when you should go see a dentist. Procrastinating your dental appointments just because you have a minor issue can lead to a major problem which can cause you pain.
The above points will not only give you and your family healthy oral hygiene but also great overall health.
About Bathurst Western Dental
Bathurst Western Dental is a dental clinic located in Toronto. Our team is committed to providing you the best dental care whether it is a complete examination and cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between.