Good Food Choice & Dental Routine go a Long Way in a Child’s Dental Health
As children grow up, more care is needed in maintaining their oral health.
Most children get all their baby teeth by age 3. These teeth start falling out around age 6, and the permanent teeth come in to take their place. Gaps between baby teeth are normal, they are actually making place for the permanent teeth. By 13 years of age, all permanent teeth should have come in.
Here are a few tips to maintain your child’s healthy teeth and gums, starting with age 3:
1. Avoid Sugar/Sugary foods
Sugary foods, juices, candies etc can erode enamel and cause cavities and it is important for our children’s oral health that we reduce and discourage consumption of such foods. Yet it is not possible to completely stay away from them. So, if your kids do eat these foods, have them rinse their mouth or brush their teeth after eating to wash away the sugar.
We all know the importance but this has to be said again, be sure the child brushes his teeth twice a day.
Dr Sana Wadhwa Wahi, Shubri Expert and Orthodontist, emphasizes that ‘Brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out after brushing. This helps to prevent decay. Always supervise kids younger than 8 while brushing, as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.’
2. Encourage Eating Fresh and Crunchy Food
Fresh and crunchy produce contains more fiber and it is also a good choice for developing your child’s teeth. Let children take harder-to-eat and chew foods from a younger age. Try to avoid soft and mushy processed foods and stop cutting food into tiny pieces!
Get those jaws working!
‘Brush and also Floss. Flossing is not just for getting those little pieces of Chinese food or broccoli that may be getting stuck in between the teeth but it is really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area.’
A child can start flossing when the teeth touch. It is harder to do with younger children. However instead of giving up, look for tools to help them floss their teeth.
3. Encourage More Water Intake
Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including oral health. We recommend drinking water 20 to 30 minutes after every meal . This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.
‘Help your child brush and floss, and remind him or her to pay attention to the back teeth. Dental habits that start earlier in life usually stay on till later stages.
Visit the dentist every 6 months, don’t wait till a problem occurs! ’
Overall, keeping check on sugary food intake and encouraging regular brushing and flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly will help in maintaining good dental health of your child.