Why brushing your child’s teeth is important
Tooth decay and gum disease are things you definitely want to avoid as an adult. You know brushing your teeth is essential to maintaining healthy smiles and avoiding the dentist’s chair. So why should your child be any different?
Babies need a lot of growth and development before they reach maturity. They have to learn how to talk, walk, and not choke on their food. But without good oral health, your child will likely suffer the effects of tooth decay before a full set of milk teeth appears.
Do you want to give your child his best start? Here’s why it’s important to brush your child’s teeth:
Why is children’s dental care important?
Gummy smiles may be a staple of your day while your baby is still a newborn, but the baby’s teeth started growing while they were still in the womb. This is why brushing your gums daily is so important.
Cleaning your baby’s gums regularly will reduce the levels of cavity-causing bacteria and remove any food and milk residues. What’s more, all you need is to gently wipe with a damp cloth or brush children’s teeth on the gums at least twice a day. Not only will this keep the mouth and gums clean, but it will slowly introduce your child to the daily dental routine.
Good dental health promotes speech development
Did you know that your child’s teeth play an important role in his speech? It also plays a vital role in how your child learns to pronounce sounds and words correctly. You see, inculcating good oral hygiene early in your child’s life will encourage good oral development as he grows.
Your baby’s lips, tongue and teeth work together to form words by controlling the flow of air in and out of the mouth. Moreover, the tongue helps to make sounds by striking the teeth and roof of the mouth. If your child has any oral health or skeletal development due to the condition of his teeth, his speech may eventually be affected.
What does tooth decay look like for a child?
If your child has tooth decay at a young age, it can lead to problems beyond speech development. Abscesses can begin to form and damage permanent adult teeth developing within the gums. When this becomes serious, your child may have to undergo a painful tooth extraction, which can be incredibly harmful to your health and the health of your child.
If a child has a tooth extraction, he is more likely to have orthodontic problems in the future.
Establish good oral hygiene habits
Any good dentist will tell you that brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day will help reduce the chances of tooth decay and more oral health problems. Your child is no different. That is why it is essential to establish good oral hygiene habits as part of their daily routine as early as possible.
Creating a simple routine doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as you include the basics, you are on your way to giving your child all the tools he needs for a healthy life.
At first, you may want to hold your child on your lap while you brush his teeth. This way, they will feel more comfortable around you and more willing to let you clean up. Other good techniques include:
- Brushing teeth at bath time: If your child can already sit unaided, giving him his toothbrush will help him get used to how he feels. You may want to take a look at the Baby Toothbrush Profile . They’re specifically designed with your little one in mind – you’ll find bright colours, soft bristles, a baby electric toothbrush and more within their range.
- Learning through imitation: brushing your teeth in front of your child will help him see how to do it right
- Sing their favorite song: Bonus points if you reach the recommended 2-minute brushing mark!
- Tell a Story: Whether you’re making your own or investing in a wealth of pediatric dental books out there, like Hello Duggee and the Teeth Cleaning Badge , there’s plenty of material to help you along the way.
How much toothpaste should I use?
Not recommended for children with strong mint flavors and high doses of fluoride. That’s why kids’ toothpaste is made with gentle flavors like strawberry or apple, and is only available in low-fluoride or no-fluoride varieties.
For infants and young children up to 3 years of age, a smear or a rice-grain-sized amount of age-appropriate toothpaste is recommended. From there, you can start introducing a pea-sized amount between the ages of 3 and 6.
As your child’s teeth begin to grow, build up his brushing routine gradually so that you brush his teeth at least twice a day during the recommended two minutes. It is best to brush their teeth at least once in the morning after breakfast and right before they go to bed.
In addition to the amounts of toothpaste, you should never leave your child unattended while brushing his teeth. You need to make sure to brush each tooth and not to overuse the toothpaste.
Head to the dentist
Dentists are not just for adults. The moment your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to book your first dentist appointment. Not only will you get the best tips and advice from the pros, but there are a whole host of other benefits too, such as:
- Familiarity: the more familiar your child is with his dentist, the more confident he will feel
- Spotting potential problems early: Your dentist will be able to spot any red marks before they turn into something worse later, like plaque buildup or cavities
- Helpful Diet Tips: Dentists will give you a range of information regarding healthy eating and foods to avoid
- Valuable Resources: From fun dentist books to information on how to care for your child’s teeth, your dentist will be happy to help you
Whether you are just starting a new routine with your baby or you are on a oral hygiene journey with your little one, brushing their teeth is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. Parents and caregivers, you’ve got this!