Did you know that poor oral hygiene can have an effect on your child’s wellbeing, as well as their social and psychological development? In fact, the consequences of poor oral hygiene can include difficulty eating (causing nutrient deficiencies), speech issues, extreme pain, self-esteem issues, and even gum and heart disease. Fortunately, you can set them on the right path for a lifetime of proper oral hygiene. Healthy mouths are built from a young age, and with your guidance and support, your children can form the healthy habits necessary to grow into healthy adults later in life.
Oral Care Starts During Pregnancy
The foundation of your child’s oral health begins with you during pregnancy. That’s why it’s incredibly important to keep your teeth and gums healthy, to maintain a proper, wholesome diet, and to have regular cleanings to avoid passing any bacteria on to your baby.
Care is Needed Before Teeth Appear
Healthy mouths are built from a young age — even before any teeth appear. To keep your baby’s gums and mouth clean, use a soft washcloth to wipe away any food debris and to remove any bacteria that could cause decay. This will introduce teeth cleaning at a very young age and get your baby familiar with the sensations of oral care.
Even the First Tooth Should be Brushed
It may not seem practical, but you should still brush your baby’s first tooth. Since bacteria and plaque are always forming on teeth, you need to take every step possible to ensure it’s removed from your baby’s mouth to prevent infection. Starting good oral care for infants will set the foundation for good dental habits.
All Children Need a Daily Routine
Starting healthy habits at an early age makes it much easier to stick to them later in life. As soon as all of their primary teeth grow in, you can start teaching them how to take care of their teeth. You can help your child floss and brush until they learn how to do it on their own.
Encourage Your Independent Preteens
As your child’s adult teeth begin to emerge around or after the age of 13, cavities become the main concern since they can develop quickly with neglectful oral care. Gum disease is also a risk factor at this stage. So as your children become more independent, it’s essential to find ways to keep them on top of their dental hygiene habits. It’s important to remind them to eat healthily and brush and floss twice a day.
Healthy mouths are built from a young age, so as the parent, it’s your job to ensure that your child is on the right track. If it’s been a while, call us at Dentistry at the Crossing, and we’ll set up an appointment with you and your child. If you just need some questions answered, we’re here for that too!