Tooth decay is just one of the many results of poor dental hygiene which is particularly common among children. This oral health issue is caused by cavity build up which is also where most dental issues stem from. Cavities also cause pain which makes it difficult for kids to chew their food properly. This, in turn, lessens the nutrients absorbed by the kid’s body. However, the greater issue with poor dental hygiene is that it not only affects a child’s oral and physical health. It can become the cause of self-esteem and social anxiety issues as well.
As parents, you don’t want your children to suffer from these. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the risk of tooth decay and other related dental problems in your kids. One of these is by establishing important oral health habits for kids which you have an important role to play.
Eliminate the Thumb-Sucking Habit
It’s common and fine for youngsters to suck their thumbs. But this habit should be stopped as soon as your kids turn 3 to prevent its negative effects to their oral health. If this habit still continues after they reach that age, it will surely have an effect in the formation of their teeth and jaw’s structure.
Baby Bottle or Sippy Cup No More
Sleeping with a baby bottle filled with sugar-containing fluids, including formula and even breast milk, increases the risk of tooth decay. The same goes if your child is frequently using their sippy cups. Although helpful in introducing your kids from using a bottle to a glass, it is still not advised to let them use it for a long period every day. Otherwise, it will result to front teeth decay, especially if their sippy cups always contain sugary drinks.
Brushing Teeth Two Times a Day
Brushing becomes a necessity as soon as your kid’s teeth erupt. Then you need to start teaching them the proper way of brushing their teeth once they turn 2. You can do that by demonstrating the right technique to them and supervising them as they do it on their own.
This important oral health habit should be introduced to your child along with its importance at the age of 4. Flossing should be performed by parents during this period until their kids develop the dexterity to perform the task by themselves. Your kids are likely to learn how to floss once they reach the age of 6 and above.
Regular Dental Visits
It is so easy to forget about dental checkups especially if you are a busy parent. But remember that brushing as well as flossing can only do enough. A professional is still needed to check and determine whether they have dental problems, like cavities and misalignments. So make sure to get your child acquainted with a dentist early on to make them feel comfortable during visits.
Consume Less Sugary Snacks
Consuming a lot of sugary snacks is not only bad for the health, but it also helps increase the risk of tooth decay. So make sure to lessen and control the sweet foods being consumed by your child. Encourage a balanced diet as well to ensure that your child’s teeth will remain strong and decay-resistant.
Make the Process Fun for Them
Expect that the process of establishing these habits will be difficult at first. The good thing is there are a lot of things you can do to make the process exciting for them. The most basic of these is to serve as an example for your kids. Take advantage of the oral care products designed for kids as well. A good example of such product is the electric toothbrush, which makes the task more fun and easier and faster to complete. There are also the different flavors of toothpaste for kids. Allow your child to choose which they prefer.