Dental Care Tips
It is essential that you have regular cleaning method in place for your child’s teeth in order to have good dental health and hygiene. Here are some dental care tips to ensure that you keep your child’s teeth free from decay.
Tips for Tooth Brushing
Use a toothpaste with fluoride to prevent and control decay. Make sure that:
- You begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their ‘baby’ teeth begin to appear.
- Teeth are brushed twice a day (morning and night) using toothpaste, which contains fluoride.
- Teeth are brushed for around two minutes.
- You brush and supervise tooth brushing.
- You only use a small amount of toothpaste and make sure that children don’t lick or eat toothpaste.
Teaching Children to Brush Their Teeth
Begin by guiding your child’s hand so that they start to feel what the correct movement should be when brushing teeth. So that your child can see how the brush is cleaning their teeth, you could use a mirror. A lot of children don’t like brushing their teeth, so you could try to make it fun by using something a two-minute egg timer or a specific app that is designed for teeth brushing.
In order to avoid spreading germs, make sure that toothbrushes are rinsed properly and air-dried after use. Don’t allow toothbrushes to come into contact with each other and also make sure that toothbrushes are never shared.
Some children like to chew the bristles of a toothbrush, so it’s important to remember to frequently replace your child’s toothbrush. If you decide to use an electric toothbrush, it is important to teach your child not to brush in circles and that they need to keep their hands still and guide the toothbrush over their teeth and gums.
Setting up routines and correct brushing procedures will set great foundations for the future.
Food or Drink
When it comes to food/drink and dental care, you need to choose carefully what your child consumes as diet is an important factor when it comes to your child’s oral health. Especially for daycare and preschool age children.
Provide your child with regular meals and snacks and steer clear of grazing. When it comes to drinks, avoid sugary drinks such as fizzy drinks. If you do give juice to your child, do not give them more than 125 ml a day and only offer fruit juice at mealtimes. At all other times, only offer plain water.
Foods such as lean meat, vegetables, cheese, nuts and fruit are all teeth-friendly as opposed to cookies, sweets and treats. As parents, we need to encourage children to choose healthier options and the way we can do this is by getting them involved and making the whole process fun. For example, you could get your child involved when you go to the store. Create a list of healthy snacks and let your child take it with you to the supermarket and find the items to put in your basket. Let your child pay for these items and when you get home, place them in a special place and label them with your child’s name.