By Sally Writes,
Cavities can be a real bugbear for mums in India, since even when they occur in baby teeth, they can have long-term consequences for our kids’ oral health. Because we need our teeth throughout our lifetime, it is important to teach kids correct brushing techniques from the world go. Surveys show that the rate of cavities in children in India has increased lately, but we can always reverse this trend with a few handy tips.
The Reasons for Tooth Decay in India
According to dentists, the biggest causes of this problem are convenience foods (especially foods containing refined sugar, such as biscuits, pasta and bread), sharing utensils (adults can pass dangerous bacteria to children, for instance) and a lack of oral hygiene. Children can be reticent to put the required care into their teeth on a daily basis, but if you establish a fun routine, brushing can actually be the best part of the day. Follow these tips to keep your little ones’ sparkly whites free of harmful decay.
Did you know that even when your child has no teeth, you should be running a clean, damp washcloth over their gums to remove harmful bacteria? Once teeth erupt, use a children’s toothbrush and age-appropriate toothpaste, which is gentler than adult versions (since children have weaker enamel).
The Importance of Flossing
When teeth touch, start flossing; children should see flossing as a daily activity they carry out every time they brush their teeth. Food can easily get stuck between teeth, and flossing will ensure that even small pieces of food are removed.
Avoiding Late Night Snacks
Make sure to feed your child before they brush their teeth, avoiding late snacks. Even milk can contain sugar, which eats away at enamel when left to sit on teeth for many hours. By starting in their toddler years, kids will see oral hygiene as part of a routine - as important as breakfast, nap time or reading books.
Let Children Choose their Toothbrush
There are many appealing toothbrushes for children; studies show that electric toothbrushes work better at removing plaque (especially where the gums meet teeth). Good options include the Philips Sonicare, which comes with a super fun app that accompanies children throughout their entire brushing routine. Rather than just choose this or any other toothbrush yourself, let your child take part in selection; they are more likely to be excited about purchases they have been involved in.
Join in the Fun
Parents can make brushing teeth funner than ever for children, by brushing their teeth alongside their kids. Use their brushing app while they do, groove to music, or create your own ‘brush time choreography’. Children learn best by example, so if they see that you take your own oral hygiene seriously, they are most likely to do the same. The same applies when going to the dentist; make it a family visit, so children understand that regular visits are a vital way to help them prevent decay. Dentists can also talk to your kids about the importance of brushing and flossing, giving them techniques to ensure they do it right.
Protect your children’s teeth by establishing a cleaning routine from the earliest of ages. Make brushing fun and add as much independence into the equation by enabling your child to pick their toothbrush. Use apps and music to turn this chore into vital bonding time for parents and kids. Finally, lead by example, making sure to visit the dentist regularly so that any existing cavities can be treated before causing major decay and tooth loss.