Start Early, Start Right – First Steps Towards Healthy Smile

Oral health is an important aspect of overall health and good oral health starts with early childhood. Childhood is the right time to start practicing oral hygiene because dental problems are more common in early childhood. Tooth cavities/tooth decay in children can spread to permanent teeth loss leading to pain and many oral problems. This article discusses on how to prevent and care for children’s teeth.

Keeping child’s teeth cavity free

Children are at a higher risk of tooth decay (cavities). So it is important that their teeth are properly cared in order to keep them cavity free. Here are some things that will keep their oral health in a good condition.

  • Brushing
    Brushing is a fundamental aspect of good oral hygiene. Parents should incorporate healthy oral habits in children and make them stick to particular regime. It is very important to teach children about the advantages of brushing their teeth. Children should be taught using a tooth brush from the age of 18 months. Begin brushing with plain water and gradually introduce pea-size amount of toothpaste that is fluoride free as this will not harm when swallowed.
  • With better learning, there are less chances of having cavities. Unless and until the child is at the proper age of brushing his/her teeth by their own, dentist advises parents to brush their children’s teeth.

  • Dental Check-up
    It is advised that your child should make his/her first visit to the dentist at the age of two and a half years. Dental visits are important to avoid problems later. Make frequent visits to the dentist with your child so that he/she will not be frightened during oral examination. See to it that you take your child to the dentist every six months. This will help develop healthy gums and teeth. For encouraging oral care in kids, help them choose their toothbrush, thus making brushing activity fun for them.
  • Diet
    Diet plays an important role in good oral health. Healthy and nutritional diet leads to healthy teeth. Children should be encouraged to eat healthy food. Food that encourages your child to chew should be given. As a precautionary measure, limit sugary and starchy food.

Avoiding bad dental habits

While promoting healthy oral habits in children, it is also important to understand and avoid bad oral habits in children. Things to avoid:

  • Going to bed with a bottle
    Sending your child to bed with a bottle that contains anything other than water will result in tooth decay (cavities). Sugar from the fluid will stay on the child’s teeth for long time and this will cause bacteria on the child’s teeth, thus leading to cavities.
  • Thumb/finger sucking
    Thumb sucking is a very common habit seen in children, but this habit can cause the child to have buck teeth (teeth are pushed out of alignment) which makes orthodontic treatment compulsory later. Moreover, if this habit continues, child may face difficulties in speaking, chewing and pronunciation.
  • Swallowing toothpaste
    Many kids like the taste of the toothpaste and tend to swallow it. Swallowing too much of toothpaste can lead to condition known as fluorosis, where brown or white spots forms on the children’s teeth in severe cases.
  • Breaking this habit is fairly easier. Parent should spend some time with their kid in explaining them the right amount of toothpaste to be used. Generally, dentists recommend using a pea size amount of toothpaste.

If your child is suffering from any major oral health issues, immediately consult your dentist to avoid any complications. Remember, “If your kids are healthy today, they will be happy tomorrow”.


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