How to care for dental hygiene in children? Tips from a SmileClinic specialist
Having a child in the life of new parents is a real challenge. Sleep deprivation, fatigue or stress associated with the desire for the best care is often associated with a lack of knowledge that no one has ever given us. Each parent wants to ensure the best future for their child, which is why it is so important that the child’s oral hygiene is appropriate from the first days of the toddler, because dental health affects many aspects of life in the future.
It is worth starting with the fact that deciduous teeth are as important as permanent teeth, because they affect the development of not only the masticatory system and the oral cavity, but the entire body. Sounds incredible?
Here are some examples:
- Deciduous teeth indicate the direction of proper eruption of permanent teeth, and their premature falling out means that new teeth can be crooked,
- Malocclusion directly affect facial features, and in extreme cases can even cause breathing problems,
- Teeth are directly connected to the circulatory system, due to which their diseases can cause weakness of the whole organism,
- Healthy teeth help to properly shred food. Their diseases cause digestive problems in the long run.
Why should you care for oral hygiene?
Neglecting hygiene can lead to the creation of ideal conditions for development of bacteria and thus, the formation in the child’s mouth such diseases as:
- Infancy diseases such as aphtha or thrush.
Infancy and early childhood are the best time to build healthy habits that will pay off throughout life
How to care for the teeth of newborns?
In newborns, oral hygiene is difficult due to the small area and the difficulty to reach every inch of the tooth.
A good way to maintain a proper level of hygiene is to wash the inside of the child’s mouth with sterile gauze moistened with boiled water. However, remember that it should not be too warm because of the delicate palate of the child.
You can wrap the gauze around your finger and gently wipe the gums and the inside of the mouth with it. Thanks to this, after getting rid of food debris from the mouth, the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms that cause inflammatory foci of diseases is hindered.
In many children’s stores, ready-made products are available, such as camomile swabs, which allow easy application of the gauze on the finger and comfortable cleaning the mouth, both for the parent and child.
How to encourage children to brush their teeth?
At a later stage of the child’s development, it is very important to encourage him or her to take care of their own oral hygiene, in which brushing habits described earlier are key.
Brushing teeth, songs, colourful, interactive animal-shaped brushes or even toy timers can effectively turn boring and repetitive activity into a small, interesting adventure which is worth returning to.
What should oral hygiene look like in babies?
Infants require oral hygiene similar to that of newborns, with the difference that around the 5th month we should include a subtle gum massage in the process, which will be helpful during the teething period. It begins around the age of 6 months. As the first we should expect the lower incisors to erupt, which are necessary in the process of tearing the food.
To properly care for oral hygiene during this period, you can use silicone finger overlay or special brushes with soft bristles to massage the gums. Such process not only cleans the cavity from food debris, but also affects the correct development of the child’s jaw.
The first tooth is the time for a child’s first toothbrush. A mandatory addition is a special baby paste. Dentists often suggest that during this period, child’s teeth should be brushed about 2-3 times a day with an indication not to skip brushing teeth before sleeping.
This allows not only to maintain the health of the child’s oral cavity, but also to develop appropriate habits from the first months of life. It is also worth paying attention to the tongue, because it also has residue and food leftovers.
It is a common mistake to give your child sweet drinks and milk at night, which, combined with the changing consistency of saliva at night, accelerates the development of the so-called baby bottle tooth decay.