What To Know About Kids’ Oral Hygiene
So you have young kids and a baby at home and you wonder how you can be protective of their oral health. First you must arm yourself with some basic facts to really understand children’s oral care. Here are some tips specifically to encourage good dental hygiene from a young age.
Baby teeth erupt from 6 months to 2.5 years. This phase is generally accompanied by soreness and inflammation of the gums. This makes for some unhappy babies. Nonetheless, train your child about tooth brushing, using only the most gentle of bristles to massage the gums.
Schedule your baby’s first dental exam after she/he turns one year old.
Demonstrate to your toddler the proper tooth brushing technique; that correct brushing takes two minutes at least. Start a routine of a twice-daily brush and oral rinse.
Kids should know that they should not swallow toothpaste, and before you introduce fluoride toothpaste, always consult with your dentist or doctor first. Before the child turns 2 years old, use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Too much fluoride can be harmful, as can other ingredients in toothpaste.
Know that fluoride toothpaste will strengthen enamel and protect from cavities. So be sure to read facts on the label and follow the instructions when using fluoride toothpaste. Choose a gentle toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS); it is known to cause inflammation of tissues and oral sores.
Know brushing and rinsing alone cannot remove plaque and tartar. Children as well as adults should go to the dentist or hygienist to have professional cleaning done to reduce the risk of cavities. There are toothpastes that slow the regrowth of plaque as well as strengthens enamel. Ask your dentist about that. Also, determine how often how often you should bring your child to visit, as plaque build-up varies from one baby to another.
Help your kids use dental floss and/or interdental brushes between ages 2 to 6. By age 10 years, children should be flossing on their own.
Limit your child’s intake of sugary and starchy foods as well as sweet flavor drinks. The habit can lead to early cavities and tooth decay.
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