Taking care of dentures of toddlers and young children is difficult but this is necessary as children at this age are easy victims of oral problems. Moreover oral problems at this stage can lead to permanent debility and weaknesses in gums and teeth which can cause regular oral problems at later age. There are few easy steps which everyone can take to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children. Oral problems in children are so common that nearly 40% of children between age of 4-7 years are believed to have cavities and need a dentist’s help. Proper care and hygiene can provide effective protection and prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children.
Prevent Tooth Decay in Toddlers and Children
Brushing teeth – Many parents believe that young children do not need brushing. It is not true, in fact young children need regular and proper brushing of teeth at least twice in a day. Toddlers and children eat sugary foods and eat few times in a day; this keeps their mouth full with particles of chewed food which remains attached to their teeth and gums. This food leftover is source of infection and causes tooth decay. Even if child is not having teeth wiping gums with a gauge or specially designed toothbrush for young children keeps their mouth healthy and clean. Ensuring regular brushing of teeth is best practice to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children.
Sippy cup and beaker – Sippy cup and beakers are good ways to train child how to drink from a cup and give away bottle, but these are sources of infection which affect most of the young children. During the day longer these cups and beaker stay with children higher they are exposed to bacteria. Stand in front of child and ask him to finish the drink, if child is reluctant to finish the drink completely take the cup away and empty it, refill when he is ready to drink after washing it. These steps will let him learn how to drink from cup and also protect him from infection. These too are good ways to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children.
Straws – Teaching child to drink using a straw is excellent way to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children. When children drink with a straw the sugar and other substances do not get attached to teeth and gums, this prevents bacterial growth and infection. Making children drink sugary drinks using a straw can be of immense help to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children.
Detergent foods – There are certain foods which work like detergent for teeth and gums. These foods do not stick in mouth and can be washed off by simple water-rinse. Plus these foods take food particles out, which are already present in the mouth, along with them when mouth is rinsed. Encouraging children and toddlers to eat such foods after meals can save botheration of brushing and also keep their mouth clean. These foods are good ways to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children. Fruits like apples and raw vegetables like carrots, radish, celery etc. are good foods which are called as detergent foods.
Bedtime eating – Discourage bedtime eating. Children eating in bed before bedtime have acid regurgitation which damages their enamel and exposes teeth to bacteria. Also, bedtime eating promotes growth of bacteria in mouth by providing them food particles to feed on. Discouraging bedtime eating is good practice which not only helps in keeping child’s digestion healthy but also prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children.
Check their habits – Children develop many habits which directly affect health of their teeth and gums. Chewing harsh objects like pencils and other things are common habits in children. These can damage enamel and expose teeth to harmful microorganisms. Apart from this, these habits can loosen grip of gums and create a gap between gums and teeth. This gap is favourable ground for bacteria to breed and cause decay. Keep an eye on these habits of the child and discourage them strictly to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children.
Incentives – Children are mostly reluctant when it comes to brushing their teeth. Offer them rewards for regularity and sincerity in taking care of their dentures. These rewards will keep them enthusiastic and develop habit of maintaining good oral hygiene. There are many type of toothpastes which are available in the market especially for kids, these have different flavours and colours, ask child to choose one for him. Make brushing appear like a game to keep child interested. All these measures work well to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children.
Use proper toothpaste – Check the contents of toothpaste, those which have no fluoride are ineffective in controlling bacteria and infection. Use fluoridated toothpaste which is very effective in flushing bacteria out and keeping mouth clean and healthy. Use of proper toothpaste is very important step to prevent tooth decay in toddlers and children. Also take calcium rich supplements to get more strong and powerful teeth.