Tooth decay is one of the most chronic diseases found in American children. There’s a misconception regarding the oral health especially in children and many people think that the state of children’s teeth isn’t a big deal, because after all kids lose their baby teeth and an adult teeth will replace them anyway. But the truth is that kids should learn to take care of their teeth. Their approach to oral hygiene during childhood is not only important for their baby teeth but for how their mouth develops. National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) is observed in February to increase awareness about pediatric dental hygiene. NCDHM is sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA) and this year’s campaign slogan is “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile”.
This health observance brings together thousands of dedicated professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to spread awareness about the benefits of good oral health among children, their caregivers, teachers, and others. Healthy teeth are important to your child’s overall health. Poor oral care can lead to infection, disease, or other teeth problems. So to avoid such problems, teach your kid about the importance of good dental habits as they grow.
Here are some steps that children should take to take charge of their teeth:
- Brush at least twice a day: Children should brush their teeth before breakfast and before bedtime. Brushing properly breaks down plaque.
- Learn from their dentist how to brush properly: This is important because just brushing front teeth doesn’t help. Brush all of your teeth, not just the front ones and spend some time on the teeth along the sides and in the back. Their dentist can show kids the best way to brush teeth, without damaging the gums.
- Take your time while brushing: Many adults take less than minute to brush their teeth, which is not right. Spend at least 2 or 3 minutes each time you brush and teach your children to follow these timings.
- Use a brush with soft bristles and a fluoride paste: Make sure your child’s toothbrush has soft bristles. The American Dental Association recommends that you begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in and to use a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you change your kids brush every 3 months.
- Flossing: This is a major component of oral hygiene or teeth care. Bacteria that cause tooth decay can still linger between teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing can resolve this concern. Slip dental floss between each tooth and along the gum line gently once a day.
- Evaluate your child’s diet: Kids eat a lot of sugary foods and are at high risk for cavities. So make healthy food choices for your children. Avoid too much sugar and do not let your child have a lot of soda, fruit juice, or sweetened drinks. Limit sweet snacks and drinks between meals. If your child does have sugar, make sure they brush their teeth afterward.
- Clean your tongue too: You can also brush your tongue to help keep your breath fresh.
- Visit the dentist twice a year: Keep the appointments with pediatric dentist.Visiting the dentist from a young age will make your child feel comfortable and also help establish the good habit of regular dental checkups.( https://familydoctor.org)
Apart from just brushing and flossing to keep your teeth healthy, you also need to be careful about what your kids eat and drink. Remember to make your kids eat lots of fruits and vegetables drink enough water.