The Importance of Brushing Teeth For Kids
Posted in Learning & Development on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
Why taking care of teeth is important?
On the face of it, taking care of the teeth may seem inconsequential when compared to several other health-related issues; but actually it is an important aspect of the well-being.
Imagine getting clicked on an important occasion, say while winning a coveted prize or on a fun-filled memorable vacation; if you have perfect teeth, you will give a wide grin or a full throated laugh in sheer abandon, but if you don’t have good teeth, a conscious, smug smile is what you will manage at most, making sure your teeth is well hidden. Bad teeth can not only spoil the memory of a good occasion, but cavities and swollen gums can give you many sleepless nights. Low confidence and bad breath can also overshadow whatever other talents you may have.
When to start cleaning teeth or brushing?
Even in case of babies, who are yet to get their first tooth but who are fed milk or formula every two hours, wiping the gums softly with a gauze cloth should become part of everyday routine. This should begin as early as possible. When your baby gets her first tooth, get a silicon brush (which fits snugly on your index finger) to clean her teeth and massage the gums. On her first birthday, your child is ready for her first toothbrush.
How to brush?
• Choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for kids: There is a wide range of attractive baby toothbrushes and different kinds (read flavours) of kids’ toothpastes available in the market these days. After 18 months, use just a thin smear of kids’ toothpaste. In all probability, she will swallow it rather than spit. Use a pea-size amount only after 2 years of age.
• The right way of brushing: Gently brush the teeth on the inside and outside surfaces in vertical movements.
Note: In case of little children, hold their head from behind so that it is easier to brush their teeth, reaching the entire mouth.
Tips to teach kids to brush their teeth
• Like in everything else, parents should lead by example.
• Make the brushing activity look fun with entire family brushing together.
• Buy attractive toothbrushes of a favourite character or a favourite colour, whatever works!
• Buy a timer so that your kid knows how long to brush.
• Teach them to spit by making it a game (otherwise they tend to swallow the toothpaste as well as the water meant for rinsing).
• Highlight dental problems like cavities, sore gums, tooth decay, enamel wear-off, etc.
Tips to keep teeth healthy:
• Brush twice daily – first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
• In case of babies, wipe the gums/teeth with a clean washcloth after every feed.
• Don’t give bottle to babies through the night; it is harmful for their teeth.
• Don’t give sweetened juice or soft drink to young children, especially not in a bottle.
• Don’t add excess sugar to any food for baby. It is not necessary even in milk. Children get used to the kind of taste they are offered from the beginning.
• After every meal, children should be taught to clean their mouth properly because germs propagate in unclean mouths.
• The feeding utensils of kids should be separate.
• Nipple of bottles and dummies should be cleaned properly.
• Visit the dentist when your child completes 2 years of age.
Treat your kids’ pearlies well, and it will make their personality shine.