Protect your child’s most beautiful asset – ‘Smile’

Did you know that your child’s first visit to a dentist should be as soon as he/she turns 1 or when his/her first teeth erupts (whichever is earlier)? But do we actually follow this.

Let’s put it this way, as parents we ensure that our children are immune to all the vaccines and we rush to the doctor if we come across even a hint of disease. But what do we do for their dental care?

We never take our child to a regular dental check-up and knock the dental doors only when our child is in pain. We assume that if a child is brushing twice daily then he/she is immune to dental diseases.

Yes it is important to brush twice. But if brushing twice daily were enough, every child would have had great teeth. For great teeth it is important to visit a dentist. Regular visits to the dentist will provide the extra care that is needed for healthy teeth. Your dentist will guide your child through every stage of maintaining a good oral hygiene so that they do not face any consequences in future.

Childhood is marked by a journey which begins from ‘first’. Your baby’s first step, first word, first vaccinations, first birthday, first day at school & first tooth. Parents get all excited about their baby’s first milk tooth. As per a folklore, it is supposed to be a given by ‘tooth fairy’.

If it is so important and parents get so very excited for it then what do they actually do to take care of these first whites? We make our kids brush. But the question is how often?

There is this myth associated with milk teeth that they do not require any care as eventually they will fall. But one needs to understand that milk teeth require equal care as your permanent teeth. It often happens that your milk teeth fall off way before your permanent teeth starts appearing. This is due to a decay so severe that it was not possible by even dental treatment to save the tooth. But this is not a cause of worry to parents as they feel that milk teeth was eventually going to fall.

Milk teeth plays an important role in chewing and are basis of formation of permanent teeth. For example, if your milk teeth fall out way before as we saw above then it creates space for the teeth placed next which as a result will create problem leading too braces treatment in future. Though it can be corrected using the space maintainer – a custom made product but it is better to prevent it in the first place.

It is important to teach your child how to brush and for this it is very important for parents to know the correct way of brushing. Visit your dentist and learn the proper technique to brush. If required help them in brushing until they can do it independently and that is when they are around eight years in age. The ideal duration of brushing is 2 minutes and ensure that your child take such time with proper strokes and technique. Though it is important to brush after every meal but is not possible at times therefore make this your habit to rinse after meals as this will enable your child to do so. Never allow your child to go to bed without brushing. The bacteria in the mouth are very active during night and brushing can control their night actions.

Kids are great imitators and it is likely possible that they will try and copy whatever their parents do. It is therefore important that parents should follow healthy habits to ensure that their children follow the same since beginning.  

Take your child to a routine dental check-up after every six months. The dentist nearby will help you to keep the teeth of your kids healthy. Kids dental health should never be ignored. The kids dentist can examine and can address your child’s dental habits such as thumb sucking, nail biting, lip sucking etc.

To protect your child from decay dentist administer fluoride treatment as an added measure of protection from decay. Apart from fluoride treatment dentist also administer to apply sealant to teeth. These methods if applied on a regular basis protects their teeth from any further decay. These methods are less expensive and easy to tolerate than fillings, RCT & extractions.

There comes a stage when the teeth are flared and have midline spacing this stage is termed as ‘ugly duckling stage’. Children usually pass through this phase between the age of 7 to 11 years with onset of permanent teeth. But if the teeth are protruding even after this stage then, parents should seriously consider braces. Braces are normally designed to straighten crooked and misaligned teeth.

Misaligned teeth apart from affecting the looks create speech problems, can lead to malnutrition as they make chewing difficult. This can also make your child self-conscious. It is that period of their life where looks matter to them he most and having crooked teeth can have serious impact on their self-confidence which may lead to poor academic performance  and social life.

Childhood days are cherished for life. These are an important phase for both kids and their parents. They create a lot of memories together and I am sure that one does not want to carry bad memories.
Maintaining dental hygiene requires just small steps but if not taken care of can create a major difference.

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