Monday, 25 May 2015
Tips to Good Oral Health in Children in 2015
Children should be carrying out good oral health routines from an early age. Tooth brushing should start as soon as the first tooth appears. This doesn’t have to be an unwelcome experience, a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on your finger and then rub it on the tooth will be enough to protect that first tooth until your child is old enough to start using a toothbrush.
The first step to ensuring good oral health in children is to brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. There are toothbrushes designed for children, which are smaller and easier to manage. Even though the child probably has their milk teeth, milk teeth can also suffer from cavities which can cause unwelcome pain moving forward.
Brushing should be carried out for two minutes twice daily with the most important brush being right before bed. A fun aspect is to use a timer and set it to two minutes. Parents should help the child and supervise the brushing until they are at least six or seven years of age.
In addition to brushing, the child should floss at least once a day. If you struggle with flossing you can consider a floss stick, these may be easier to use on a child. They are plastic sticks that hold a piece of floss at the end, making it easy to manoeuvre it between the teeth, removing any plaque and debris the toothbrush couldn’t reach.
Reduce the child’s sugar intake. The leading cause of tooth decay in children is due to sugared drinks and foods. Reducing and limiting or removing sugar from the diet and promoting healthy eating can benefit oral health considerably. Bear in mind this includes store bought fruit juices which are often brimming with sugar.
Limit the acidic foods offered to the child. This means reducing foods such as tomatoes, which are very acidic, which can affect the enamel of the tooth. The enamel is the hard coating of the tooth which protects the delicate interior pulp.
Encourage the child to eat crunchy fruits and vegetables. Eating crunchy foods encourages saliva production, which is acidic and protects the teeth moving forward.
Finally, ensure your child visits the dentist. The child should visit the dentist as soon as the first tooth pushes through and then at regular intervals thereafter. The routine appointment is an opportunity for the dentist to examine the mouth, gums and teeth to ensure there are no problems, which could cause complications later on.