A child’s smile is beautifully contagious. A blend of mischief, imagination and lots more that instantly leaves us beaming. This little smile requires extra care that must begin at an early age, as childhood dental caries can appear right from infanthood, making oral hygiene a must!

Following are some easy dental tips that can help maintain your precious’ healthy smile:

1. Brushing

For infants, gently wiping the gums with a clean and soft washcloth or wet gauze after each feeding is the simplest way to ensure good oral hygiene. Once the formation of teeth commences, the habit of brushing can be initiated with age appropriate, soft-bristle toothbrush that gently removes plaque from their teeth and gums. Brushing helps best when done twice a day, i.e., morning and night. (Note – Replace the toothbrush every three-four months, or may be sooner if it is worn out.) 

2. Fluoride Toothpaste 

Once a child is capable of spitting at the age between 24-36 months.  Apply only a smear or something lesser than pea-sized drop of toothpaste to the toothbrush and assist them in brushing, spitting the toothpaste foam out and rinsing their mouth. Knowing that children have a tendency to swallow toothpaste, and missing out on certain areas of their mouth, assisting them till an age where they have mastered the practice is advised. (Note - It is ok if they don’t rinse the mouth with water because a little amount of fluoride is actually good to protect teeth.) 

3. Smile Check 

Pre-schoolers should have regular oral health assessment to diagnose, treat or prevent the onset of dental problems. Scheduling regular dental check-ups can help the parents understand teething and keep a track of their little one’s oral health.

 4. Diet & Oral Health 

There is a strong connection between nutrition and oral health. Healthy food provide essential nutrients for optimum oral health and overall health. Inculcate the habit of eating healthy snacks  such as grains, milk, cheese, yoghurt, raw  vegetables and fruit. Cut back on sugary foods and soft drinks to ensure healthy teeth and gums.

(Note – Daily intake of  milk and dairy products is highly recommended are these are rich in calcium and help build strong teeth.)

5. Practice What You Preach 

 You are the best role model for your child. Thus always make sure to take care of your own oral health as well. Look at making the dental care a fun activity rather than a chore. Brush and floss together to foster the habit of oral hygiene in the entire family.

6. Watch Their Habits

Letting the child fall asleep with milk bottle in his mouth, prolonged use of pacifiers, tongue thrusting, lip/thumb sucking, can cause  seriously damage to oral health. Encourage children to break these habit by replacing it with other soothers.

Although baby teeth fall out, they play an important role in helping your child bite and chew food, and also in speaking clearly. Good teeth pave way for a great smile, so give an early start to caring for your little one’s teeth! 

Note- The content is for opinion purpose only. For any recommendations, please consult with a healthcare professional.

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