One of the most important questions many parents should ask themselves is how they can help their children care for their oral health and prevent the formation of cavities. While there is no single answer to all your questions, a good way to approach your uncertainties is to take note of the age group that your child falls into. In this post, we will share with you on how you can help children of ages up to five years old, with regards to their oral health.
Why should you implement proper oral health care practices for children?
Teaching your child proper oral care techniques at a young age are an invaluable investment in his or her health. You may also want to practice what you preach so you should start by taking good care of your own teeth. This will help send a message that oral health is something to be valued. In addition, you will to make the process of taking care of teeth fun. For instance, you can allow your child to choose their own toothbrush. To ensure that your child is receiving the correct oral care and advice, you will want to care for them or teach them according to their specific age groups.
Wipe your infant’s gums (0 to 4 months)
Most babies do not get teeth until they are about four to six months. However, dental care should start from the very beginning even when they are still infants. It is a good practice to get in the habit of cleaning your baby’s gums soon after birth. You should cradle your infant’s head with one hand and use a piece of wet gauze to wipe your infant’s gums with the other hand twice a day. While there may be a little fussing at first, your infant will gradually get used to it.
Teach them proper brushing (4 months to 1 year old)
During this age range, your infant’s first baby teeth should have begun to emerge into the mouth. The teething period will make your child fussy or irritable and may cause drooling, restlessness or even loss of appetite. But still a proper oral health care regime must still be implemented. When they are pearly whites are finally erupting, it is time to switch to a wet toothbrush!
If possible, make arrangements for your baby’s first dentist visit. Your dentist will advise you on how to manage your child’s diet, oral hygiene as well as the correct usage of fluoride to prevent dental problems.
Help them outgrow the need of a pacifier (2 to 3 years old)
The long-term use of pacifiers has been proven to influence the shape of your children’s mouth and the alignment of their teeth. As toddlers and babies mature physically, it is natural for their jaws to grow around anything that’s held inside on a repeated basis. Hence, you will want to prevent them from overusing their binkies at this age.
Teach them how to spit out the toothpaste (for ages up to 5 years old)
At this age, your child should also learn to spit out the toothpaste after tooth brushing, under your guidance. As a safe measure, you will want to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when you are helping them brush their teeth.
Bring their dental training to full fruition (ages 5 years old and above)
This is the age when your kids can finally take over and brush their own teeth. However, you must be at their side to ensure that they continue brushing the right way according to your dentist’s recommendations.