Friday, July 13th, 2018
Maintaining good oral habits is very important to oral health. Teeth, like other body parts, requires regular maintenance to stay clean and healthy. The best thing to do is to start developing healthy habits from a very young age.
During infancy stage (before the age of 2), the teeth of babies are still rather fragile. Therefore, teeth should be cleaned gently using a damp cloth on a regular basis. When the infant grows older to 2 years old, a tooth brush with soft bristles is highly recommended. As for tooth paste, try not to use products that are meant for adults. These products tend to be too heavy in fluoride. Pediatricians recommend using products that are developed specifically for children. Such products tend to be milder and are more suitable for young children. Also, avoid using fluoride mouth washes for children. Good teeth cleaning habits start from a very young age. For example, you can teach a child to clean his teeth after every meal. Brushing teeth twice a day will be sufficient.
The only thing you have to be careful about is the amount of fluoride used in teeth brushing. An overdose can cause white spots to appear on the teeth. For young children, only a small amount of fluoride is required with each brushing. To determine the exact amount to use, be sure to check with your pediatrician.
Fluoride is the primary ingredient that helps to prevent cavities. You can’t clean teeth properly without using it, and you can’t use an amount that is too heavy for a child. So the best thing to do is to start from a small dosage, and then increase the amount gradually as the child grows older. Of course, be sure to keep your pediatrician in the loop so that if you are doing something incorrectly, your pediatrician can advise you quickly.
In the beginning, young children will not know how to handle tooth brushes correctly. The proper brushing techniques will have to be taught to the child. Book an appointment with your pediatrician and have the child learn proper brushing techniques together with the pediatrician. Improper brushing can lead to unclean teeth or even bleeding gums.
For the first couple of weeks or so, you will need to spend time personally with the child to ensure that the child forms the right brushing habit. You also have to be prepared to monitor the brushing techniques to ensure that the young child is doing things correctly. If you spot some mistakes, make sure you correct the child immediately. When you feel that the child can undertake the task in a satisfactory manner, you can stop the monitoring.
Of course, children tend to forget teeth brushing sometimes. Some may grow tired of the brushing and deliberately test your patience by “forgetting”. All you have to do, is to give them gentle reminders every now and then.