Oral hygiene is a critical component of good health and well-being, especially with children. Habits are formed during the first 5 or 6 years of life that can be difficult to break, and as a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that proper oral hygiene habits are formed during the early years. If you are soon to become a parent, here are some important aspects of oral hygiene to take into account with your child.
Correct Brushing Techniques
Your child should be introduced to tooth brushing very early on. As soon as the milk teeth begin to show, give your child a small infant toothbrush, and with a tiny drop of toothpaste, begin to show them how brushing works. There are Melbourne orthodontists who can help with toothbrush (and toothpaste) selection, and with regular oral examinations, your child’s teeth will develop as they should. It is important that the child does not ingest too much toothpaste, and children up to the age of 8 years should be supervised by an adult when tooth brushing, as some of the flavours might encourage the child to swallow the paste, which is not advisable.
The First Appointment with the Dentist
At around the child’s first birthday is the ideal time to make that very first dental appointment, and when you are scheduled for a dental examination, you can bring junior along and help them to become familiar with oral hygiene. Dentists like this pediatric dentist here are experienced with children and will make the visit relaxed and friendly. The importance of regular dental visits cannot be overstressed, as the child’s teeth might be growing incorrectly, which is something the dentist can correct, and you should follow your dentist’s advice regarding the frequency of oral examinations.
The Importance of Fluoride
Fluoride is known to strengthen tooth enamel, and your child’s toothpaste should contain fluoride; just make sure they do not ingest too much. After a few months of correct brushing and flossing techniques, the child will soon develop the habit of brushing and flossing after every meal, as well as first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.
Preventing Tooth Decay
We all know that tooth decay is caused by a sugary diet, so make sure that your child does not develop a sweet tooth. This means making sure they do not develop a liking for overly sweet things, and by ensuring they brush their teeth properly after every meal. While you cannot guarantee that your child will not get cavities, you can limit the amount of sugar in their diet, which will have an impact on tooth decay.
Of course, the best way to help a child develop good oral hygiene habits is to lead by example, which will also ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy. The first few years of a child’s life are critical for jaw alignment, which can cause bite issues, and with regular visits to your local orthodontist, your child’s teeth will be aligned correctly, and should there be any issues, they will be quickly identified.