The World Dental Federation shares that 2.3 billion people globally suffer from dental decay in their permanent teeth! Scary!
This is why it Is so important to start taking care of children’s teeth as young as you can!
Taking care of children’s teeth eh? More like mission impossible at times, I know!
Who would imagine there will ever be a day another person experiences a total melt down when you ask them to brush their teeth! But as luck has it at times, this is just a typical start to most of our days as parents!
Well, who said, parenting for children is easy; more importantly who said oral health for children is a walk in the park!
Not to worry! Got you covered! Let’s talk about some secrets to keep your child’s smile shinning bright, while you get to keep your sanity for taking care of those pearly milky teeth!
From brushing your kid’s teeth to your child’s first trip to the dentist, here’s how to take care of your child’s teeth.
The 4 main pillars to taking care of children’s teeth are:
The Brush and the Paste:
If your child is 3 years and younger
- Start brushing your child’s teeth once the first baby tooth breaks through! It’s the best time ever to start that beautiful habit and to train the child to accept brushing for later.
- Choose a nice and soft bristled brush as instructed by your pediatric dentist.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice daily for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
- Make sure to brush the last thing at night before bedtime- it’s the most important time of the day to comply with because saliva is at its lowest at night, enabling bacteria to be very active over-night.
- Use fluoride in the toothpaste when your child has turned one years old.
- New studies are showing the benefit of using concentration of 1,000ppm of fluoride for its help preventing and control tooth decay.
- Make sure you only use a smear of toothpaste- like a rice grain. Swipe it on the teeth so the fluoride adheres to the teeth and then start brushing.
- For more tips on the psychology of brushing or making your toddler brush read this blog on the topic: (Brushing Wars: Mommy vs Toddler)
- Or for tips to making brushing fun for children or toddlers read this blog: (Your child doesn’t let you brush his teeth!)
If your child is between 3 to 6 years
- All the tips above AND
- You should remain the one to brush their teeth no matter their cries of complaints!
- Use a paste with concentration of 1,000ppm of fluoride for its help preventing and control tooth decay.
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Do ask your child to avoid rinsing with water after brushing. It is best to allow the child to stay on the teeth for it to work its magic while the child is asleep.
- Start flossing between your child’s back molars.
If your Child is older than 6
- All the tips above AND
- Now your child needs an adult concentration of fluoride that is 1450 or 1500.
- You can continue to brush for your child until they are 10, after the age of 10 you still need to supervise him/her.
Taking your child to the dentist
Visit the dentist with your little child once the first milk teeth appear. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s recommendation is to take your child to the dentist for toddlers with his/or her first birthday or first tooth!
This will help your child become familiar with the environment from a very early age, thereby decreasing fear from the dentist later on in life.
What I usually do is I start advising parents of what to anticipate and how to prevent it. Anticipatory guidance is so important to set the scene straight for a healthy tooth leading to a healthy life!
I also usually recommend taking your child to the dentist every 6 months, and sooner if there is an active problem your child’s dentist is keeping an eye on.
Dental care for children does not have to be overwhelming. You can involve your child as much as possible to feel excited and empowered about keeping his/her teeth and gums healthy. Consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist who understands the psychological depth on how to make dental checkups fun and exciting! In my pediatric dental office in Dubai, I go full out as to have toys, games and movies. This helps every child relax and enjoy coming to see me and use that as a good solid foundation for a great relationship with myself as the dentist and with healthy teeth in general.
It’s not a world class secret anymore: Sugar causes decay!
Even a third grader can tell you that.
Yet here we are: According to the World Health Organization (WHO) half the world’s population is suffering from dental decay, making it the most common chronic disease on earth!
The cause? Plain and simple: Sugar, Sugar and Sugar.
The great news is: this is totally preventable. Our food and nutrition is both the problem and the cure.
Read the rest on this blog : (Food For Your Teeth: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!)
Hope this helps. Do get in touch for your queries, questions or even daily struggles.
May the force be with you!