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As parents of young children, we have a lot on our plates from taking care of their physical, social and mental well-being to almost homeschooling them this year.
Sadly, in all this we sometimes unknowingly forget about their oral health until the child gets a cavity and complains of pain.
So, here are a few things which all parents can keep in mind and start instilling in their kids from an early age.
1. For infants and babies below 1 year of age, it is of utmost importance to not
put them in the habit of sleeping with the milk bottle. This is the main cause of rampant or baby bottle caries.
Since the teeth are in continuous contact with the milk, which contains its own sugar and the constant exposure throughout the night causes extensive decay in the baby teeth.
2. Then please do not give children milk with sugar or any other additives. The sugar itself has no nutritional value and is the main culprit behind dental caries.
3. Moving on to slightly older children, dietary modifications are of utmost importance. To maintain a healthy oral cavity setting good eating habits from an early age are advisable.
a) Limiting the sugar intake.
b) Limiting processed food in their diet.
c) Adding fiber to the diet in the form of fruits and vegetables.
d) Adding a good source of vitamin C to the diet.
4. Brushing habits: I cannot lay enough importance on this. This is the cornerstone of oral health. Regular twice a day brushing habit should be instilled from an early age.
Nothing can replace a good brushing habit and children should be taught early along with the correct technique and duration of brushing.
5. Finally, moving on to older children, regular flossing should be inculcated. Even as adults many of us don’t floss our teeth. This can prevent many dental problems in the long run.
According to studies almost 35% of the tooth surface is not cleaned if not flossed everyday. This is one habit which if incorporated early can be a great tool to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
These are some very basic and important habits which should be taught to every child from an early age. This can prevent dental caries and other problems in future.