As a clinic of Pediatric Dentistry in Jacksonville, our staff regularly treats patients with issues that could have been completely prevented by maintaining proper oral hygiene. While this is something quite prevalent even in adult patients, children are especially susceptible to these preventable conditions.
The environment and the microbes present in it start acting on a child’s teeth the moment it starts erupting. Be it caries, plaque or outright tooth injury. Children are susceptible to these. But as mentioned earlier, all these can be prevented with good oral hygiene.
However, while interacting with the patients and their parents alike, our dentists at Jacksonville Pediatric Dental Office came to a single realization: most people don’t know what to do. The concept of dental hygiene among the adult is so common place that people don’t know that children and their teeth need a special and slightly different set of hygiene regimen.
Acknowledging this fact, our team of expert professionals brings forward the oral hygiene habits that should be inculcated in children:
- Start at the earliest: This is a point that deals more with the parents than the children for the kids at this point are too young to do the required themselves. There are a few habits that the parents should develop as soon as your child’s first tooth starts erupting. These would be:
- Don’t let them sleep with anything sugary in their bottle through the night.
- Clean even the stubs of the tooth erupting with a soft gauze pad.
- Discourage the sucking habits in children when they reach 3.
- Brush the teeth with a soft bristled brush and very limited amount of fluoride based toothpaste.
- Encourage flossing: On average, most dentists believe that a child can be introduced to flossing by the age of 6. This is a very effective oral hygiene habit that goes a long way in preventing tooth decay.
- Discourage sugary food and snacks: Adults, children as well as teenagers, all should avoid sugary food and snacks as these are what the bacteria on the teeth act on to create the harmful, acidic by-products.
- Visit a dental clinic frequently: A child should be taken for their first dental visit at around 1 years of age at max which should be followed by at least biannual visits thereafter. This is to ensure their teeth get proper professional help at the earliest. Apart from this, regular visit to a dentist will keep them up to date with exactly what oral hygiene habits they should be following for their specific needs and age.
As a parent, the best thing that one can do to help your child maintain oral hygiene is to inculcate this belief that oral hygiene habits are a part of the lifestyle, not a daily chore. These habits go a long way into ensuring your children’s oral health.