How cute is a child’s baby smile and happy face!
However, they may start hiding it if they don’t get proper oral hygiene.
Therefore, you need to instill proper oral habits in them from an early age.
This will help them be independent and responsible to take care of their oral hygiene themselves.
All you need to do is to set their routine and monitor them so that they never smile hesitantly.
This article discusses the ways you can keep your child’s oral health on top priority. Keep reading to know more!
A Healthy Baby Smile Comes With a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
A good oral hygiene routine contains:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing at least once daily
- Using a mouthwash occasionally
- Consuming fewer sugars
- Drinking more water
- Visiting the dentist often
Hence your child needs to follow this routine so that they do not get cavities and gum disease which hinders their ability to smile to their heart’s content.
First up, brush your teeth and your child’s teeth together.
Make this a fun activity for them and involve them in toothbrushing daily with the rest of the family.
Teach them the proper way to brush in circular strokes and play music or poems during their brushing time so that they look forward to it daily rather than consider it a chore.
You should start brushing your child’s tooth as soon as the first one appears.
However, you should also clean their gum line with water before they have any teeth.
Their toothless reflex smile is indeed precious but you need to protect the teeth that will soon erupt.
First, brush their teeth yourself because a small child cannot hold the toothbrush properly.
Then gradually give them some independence to brush on their own while you monitor them doing it twice a day.
Also, use a timer to note if they brush for exact 2 minutes or brush fastly and inadequately for less than a minute.
You can even let them choose their own toothbrushes such as an electric toothbrush.
They are not only fun for your children but also clean plaque better because of their rotating and oscillating brush head.
Hence, it is easier for toddlers to remove their plaque without any vigorous effort which they can’t put because of their lack of strength.
They just have to move it along while the toothbrush does most of the work.
Hence, getting an electronic toothbrush for them keeps their teeth clean and their social smile bright.
Use Fluoride and Floss
Though what’s more important is the use of Fluoride in their oral care routine.
Your child needs fluoride to protect their teeth from cavities and strengthen their enamel.
Fluoride helps to give the tooth enamel extra protection.
Younger children take sugars through formula milk, sweets, candies, etc.
If a cavity forms on their teeth and makes it dark then they will surely be hesitant to smile fully.
Also, sugars can turn their permanent teeth yellow.
Hence, you need to introduce fluoride in their drinking water as well as in their toothpaste.
Let them brush with fluoride toothpaste and buy fluoridated water for them.
However, excess fluoride can also lead to fluorosis in young kids.
So beware of those white spots but give them fluoride in moderation.
If you use fluoridated water, you can just use a pea size of fluoride toothpaste.
If you do not have fluoride in water then at least use a toothpaste and mouthwash with it.
This will protect your child from tooth sensitivity and from developing a weak enamel.
Besides fluoride and brushing, your child should also floss when they have all of their teeth.
Show them how to floss daily using dental floss or a water flosser.
Flossing removes stuck food particles in between the gaps in teeth where the brush cannot reach.
To have white, plaque-free teeth and a healthy smile, you should floss their teeth in the early years.
Replace Juices with Drinking Water
If you give your child drinks such as soda and juices then they will inevitably cause a lot of harm to their teeth.
At such a young age with their baby teeth, they should not drink these drinks rich in sugar content.
If your child drinks juice with meals then gradually replace it with water.
Packaged juices contain added sugars that are unhealthy for your child and increase their daily sugar intake.
Though even homemade juices contain more sugar content than fruits themselves.
On the other hand, drinking water is really good for their oral health.
It stimulates saliva in the mouth.
Saliva helps to keep your mouth moist and avoid the buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
And water helps to regulate the flow of saliva inside the mouth.
Therefore, substitute these sugary juices with sugar-free water and if they do not like the taste of it then add a few slices of their favorite fruit inside it to give them a slight taste.
Also do not give them any sugary drinks before sleep.
As they turn one gradually shift them from drinking in the feeder to drinking water in sippy cups.
Stop Thumb Sucking for an Aligned Baby Smile and Teeth
Thumb sucking is bad for your child’s teeth.
It will result in misalignment, buck teeth, gaps, crossbite, and an open bite.
What’s worse is that it will also affect your child’s speaking abilities and the structure of their face.
They will not only have a smile they are conscious about but also a lisp.
Hence, you should stop this unhealthy habit in your children by they are 3 years old.
Pacifiers harm the teeth and the mouth in a similar manner.
You should be careful to never coat it with any sugary substance.
However, it is much easier for your child to quit a pacifier.
In order to make your child quit thumb sucking you will have to try a few strategies.
- Talk to them politely and explain to them why it is bad for their teeth
- Let them know, they will have to get braces if they continue
- Tell them that their friends may tease them for their teeth
- Show them videos of their favorite cartoon characters stopping them from thumb sucking
- Get them a hand stopper that does not let their arm reach their mouth.
- Put a sock on their thumb if they unconsciously suck their thumb while sleeping
- Use a bad-tasting nail polish so that whenever they suck it, they instantly take their thumb out.
Your child may not accept all of these ideas but some may work while others may not.
Generally, thumb sucking is normal and allows babies to deal with their anxieties.
It provides them comfort and soothes them before sleep and ables them to make sense of their world.
However, most children stop it between 2 to 4 years of age or even by 6 to 7 months.
Those that continue beyond 5 years can also continue it during the rest of their life as adults.
It affects their way of permanent teeth more than the baby teeth.
Hence, it can be a strong reason for them to cover their precious smile even if they do not want to.
Dental Visits For A Healthy Baby Smile
Are you a parent who thinks their baby does not need to visit the dentist?
Well, you may be very wrong because you should certainly take your baby to the dentist by they are a year old.
You should take an appointment for 6 months after their first tooth erupts.
This usually coincides with their first birthday.
Hence, even if your child has baby teeth, they should go to the dentist.
These dental visits are important for them to have clean teeth and clear any doubts about cavities.
Going to the dentist at an early age will also ensure proper eruption of their permanent teeth and their straight alignment.
Hence, your child will not have to worry about the way their smile looks when they have perfectly straight teeth.
Moreover, these dental visits can protect your child from cavities.
Do you know that around 20 percent of children lying in the age range of 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated cavity?
However, if your child visits the dentist regularly, then they can immediately detect tooth decay and get rid of it immediately.
Immediate cure, less pain and less damage.
If your children find the dentist friendly and sweet then this can instill a good habit in them to frequently visit the dentist.
Hence, when they grow up, they will remember to visit the dentist twice a year to keep their oral health in check.
A baby smile is adorable.
While they smile to their fullest without a concern in the world, it is your responsibility to notice if their teeth and gums are healthy.
As they grow old, they will start noticing these shortcomings themselves and become conscious of their smile.
Hence, take these steps to keep them smiling brightly forever.