Dental Health of your child
Dental care and good dental hygiene must be a part of your preschooler’s daily routine. This will keep their teeth and gums healthy and free from disease, and will also start a good habit for the future.
Brushing your preschooler’s teeth
- Start brushing daily as soon as your child has his or her first teeth.
- Brush twice a day in the morning, and before they go to sleep at night.
- Teach your child to brush their teeth, but be around to supervise and brush again quickly, if necessary.
- Teach your preschooler to spit out the toothpaste during brushing. Till your child does not learn to spit out the toothpaste, use fluoride free toothpaste that is designed for small children.
- If your child has a sugary treat, brush teeth half an hour after it. This can help to keep their teeth healthy.
- Brushing twice a day, flossing as required and regular visits to a dentist will help maintain a healthy mouth.
How to select toothpaste for your preschooler?
Several varieties of toothpastes are available in the market. Most of toothpaste available in the market contains fluoride, but the amount of fluoride varies from paste to paste. Remember that too much of fluoride can cause tooth decay. Consult your child’s dentist regarding the toothpaste for your child.
Tooth decay or dental caries is a common childhood disease. First dental visit is recommended when a child is about one year old, but most children don’t visit a dentist until they have a problem.
Your child should have regular dental check ups.
Tips to prevent dental caries include
- Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, as fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, which can decrease the risk of decay.
- A three old child often prefers to brush his/her own teeth most of the time. Let them do it, but be around to supervise and brush again quickly if necessary. Most children need help to brush until they are 6-7 years of age.
- Teach your child proper oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day and rinsing mouth after eating.
- Teach your child to avoid foods that stick to teeth, minimize snacking between meals, and avoid foods and drinks that contain excessive amounts of acid and sugar.
- Teach you preschooler healthy eating habits. Your child’s diet must contain plenty of calcium-rich foods such as milk and cheese. Calcium makes teeth and bones strong.
- Limit your preschooler’s intake of sugar and sweets. Sugar produces an acid that takes out calcium from the teeth, and damages the enamel coating. This can cause tooth decay and lead to cavities.
- After your preschooler brushes at night encourage him/her not to eat or drink sweet beverages. Offer only water to drink or their teeth will remain coated with sugar and food all night.
- If your preschooler has caries in "baby teeth” do not ignore it. Baby tooth decay can affect your child's permanent teeth.
Tips to prevent dental health problems in you child
- Brush their teeth twice daily. You should help them to brush properly.
- Teach them about good eating habits and minimize snacking between meals.
- Do not let your child often eat foods that stick to their teeth.
- Do not give your child foods and drinks that contain excessive amounts of acid and sugar frequently.
- Visit a dentist for their check up every six to 12 months.
- Treat any dental problem that occurs promptly.
If you have caries or gum disease, your child may be at higher risk as well for dental problems. Taking measures that keep your child's teeth and gums healthy will minimize their chances of having to deal with teeth, gums and other oral health problems. If your child has any problem in tooth or gums visit your dentist.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Feb 24, 2011
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