Did you know dental cavities or tooth decay are the most common chronic disease among children? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children between ages 6 to 11 are common victims of tooth decay. It is also more common among teenagers than those with asthma cases. The breaking down of tooth enamel is the main cause of tooth decay, where the bacteria produce acid that damages tooth enamel.
While pediatric dentists are doing their best to promote good oral care, many parents are still falling short when encouraging proper oral hygiene to their kids. Caring for a child’s teeth can be difficult, especially during their tender age. This is a time when they get really obsessed with sweet treats and junk foods. Parents also tend to have their hands full, from managing the housework, preparing meals, and helping kids with their homework. Balancing children’s lives is certainly difficult that observing dental hygiene has become the least priority.
Keeping a child’s teeth healthy is something parents should observe even before the first baby tooth appears. A good smile has a big impact on their self-confidence as they grow up. Teaching them good dental care is to prepare them for the responsibility of taking care of their own body. But mistakes can happen when raising kids, especially when it comes to oral health. To ensure decay-free teeth, here are some common mistakes parents make with children’s dental care.
Neglecting visits to the dentist
According to experts, it is common for children ages two to three to suffer from severe dental conditions. Most of them are serious enough that require the use of anesthesia. Sadly, many parents are unaware of this fact that they will only consider going to the dentist if their child is already in pain. Procrastinating their child’s dental visits is risking them to develop oral problems at a young age.
Children’s teeth start to appear long before they were born. If the baby reaches six months, a dentist should conduct a health assessment and examine the child’s teeth to prevent dental problems in the future. The assessment involves an examination of the mother’s dental health to know about teeth condition and dental history. The mother’s overall dental health is a great predictor of the child’s teeth.
After the initial exam, the dentist will provide treatments and suggestions to maintain good oral health. They will also advise frequent visits to monitor the child’s teeth. As the child grows, make dentist’s visits an enjoyable experience to avoid dental anxieties. If they’re having issues when going to the dentist, help them cope by providing proper education. As you move on with dental examinations, your child will soon get comfortable and accustomed.
Letting kids brush their teeth themselves
Brushing is a critical part of good oral care. That is why parents play an important role in promoting dental hygiene during their child’s tender years. While teaching kids how to brush their teeth is a great way to promote dental health, letting them do it on their own is not a great idea. In fact, it takes seven years or even longer before a child can fully take care of their teeth.
This doesn’t mean you should forbid your child to brush their teeth alone. Although they have the intention of doing it themselves independently, children are still not physically capable to take care of their teeth. Many children lack the required motor skills for proper brushing until they are eight years old. The best thing to do is to supervise them while brushing their teeth to make sure they clean every tooth and surface.
Studies show that some parents stop monitoring their kids’ brushing as soon as they reach seven years old—a critical age before children became fully capable to manage their oral health. Not helping them to improve their dental care skills will lead to dental problems in the future.
Failing to teach proper dental habits
While brushing is a critical part of dental care, parents should also introduce other dental care practices to promote good habits while they’re young.
Dental care begins even before children develop their first set of baby teeth. Do this by brushing the gums tenderly using a baby toothbrush and child-friendly toothpaste. Introducing oral care at a tender age will help the child feel comfortable and develop a good dental habit.
Aside from brushing, flossing is also important to remove food pieces between the teeth. You may also consult a dentist to find other techniques for their dental care needs.
Despite these dental mistakes, there are still many things you can do to prevent teeth problems and ensure proper dental health for your kids. As they grow, plan dental hygiene routines at home, monitor a balanced diet, and make dentist appointments a fun experience. This way, you’ll guarantee a great journey towards achieving your child’s healthy smile.