One of the first things you notice about a person is their smile. A sparkling smile with clean teeth can work wonders to make a good first impression, while decaying discolored teeth can put off a person and hamper your social skills. While it is important to ensure that you maintain oral hygiene to keep up your appearance, it is also equally essential from the standpoint of importance of health and hygiene.
Just like all other habits, good oral health habits are best taught to children at a young age. In the words of Dr. Meenakshi Rai Mukherjee, Dentist, Electronic city,
“It is important to teach personal hygiene for kids as they will not only practice them from a young age, setting good dental hygiene standards for themselves, but will also continue to practice them in the later stages of their lives, ensuring sustained oral health.”
Here are some easy tips that children can follow for dental care:
1. Use the Right Equipment
With the vast variety of dental products available in the market, you can get easily confused about what to use. Help your child make the right decision regarding their toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, etc. While it was earlier believed that children should use non-fluoridated training toothpaste at the beginning, research undertaken by the American Dental Association shows that fluoride toothpaste is the way to go as it works to prevent cavities by helping to remineralize teeth that have been corroded by bacterial acids. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to start with and then graduate to a medium strength one.
2. Brush Right
Many people make the mistake of assuming that brushing teeth is only about the tools or the amount of time you brush or the amount of toothpaste you use. And this is especially true for children who put large dollops of toothpaste on their toothbrush and are made to stand at the sink for a certain period of time. But the secret to brushing is in the way you do it – It’s better to brush for around two minutes for a full set of teeth in small steady circles rather than brushing teeth aggressively as the latter method can lead to damage rather than helping your oral hygiene.
3. Floss Daily
While brushing will help remove surface stains and plaque, it’s important to clean between the gaps of your teeth to ensure good oral hygiene, and this is a task that can be accomplished only by flossing regularly. While it may initially lead to some tenderness in your child’s mouth, it’s definitely a must in your dental hygiene routine.
4. Restrict Sugar Intake
When a child eats something sugary, it takes the saliva in their mouth a minimum of 30 minutes to neutralize the acidity caused by decay-producing bacteria, leading to an increased chance of cavity formation. Hence, it is imperative to moderate your child’s consumption of sugar and avoid giving them anything sweet close to bedtime.
5. Visit the Dentist Regularly
Just like an apple a day is supposed to keep the proverbial doctor away, regular visits to the dentist will ensure that your child is protected from problems as simple as plaque accumulation to complicated issues such as cavities and infected gums. It is important to go for a dental checkup and teeth cleaning atleast twice a year, especially for children since they are still in their growing phase. Establishing such a routine for your child early on will help them get over the inherent fear of visiting a dentist. Choose an established brand such as Apollo Clinic that will not just offer you the best services backed by technology and experience, but will also give you the benefit of personalized care and attention by a dentist.
All these simple steps are essential for your kid’s dental care. So get started right away!