Did you know that nearly 42% of children aged 2 to 11 have at least one cavity in their baby teeth?
Dental caries develop when decay-causing bacteria in your infant’s mouth attack the tooth’s enamel, leaving a small hole or a “cavity.” If left untreated, this can lead to infection, pain, and even tooth loss.
Most people don’t realize that early childhood caries are easily preventable with good oral hygiene practices and quality at-home oral hygiene products.
The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene in Children
Parents often don’t pay attention to baby teeth cavities because they believe that the baby teeth will eventually fall out.
However, what they don’t realize is that dental decay in baby teeth can negatively affect the permanent teeth, leading to dental problems in the future. Studies show that nearly 13% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years suffer from at least one decayed tooth.
Let’s look at some other reasons why it’s crucial to instill good oral habits in children at an early age:
Experts believe that oral health contributes to overall wellness. Bad dental health can impact your child’s growth and development in several ways.
Primary teeth play a crucial role in how your child learns to chew, talk, and smile. Baby teeth also keep the child’s jaw straight and hold space for adult teeth. Since our mouth is a gateway to our body’s essential functions, children with dental problems may also be more prone to illness.
Cognitive and Psychosocial Development
Children with teeth may suffer from lower self-esteem, embarrassment, and discomfort, which in turn impact their academic performance and psychosocial well-being.
Studies show that children with dental problems have a 52% higher risk of having problems at school, resulting from dental emergencies that interfere with school attendance.
What’s more, repeated toothache in childhood and adolescence can make children bad-tempered. They’re at a higher risk of developing feelings of unhappiness, shyness, and avoidance of smiling, thereby leading to social withdrawal.
Therefore, good oral health should be practiced during all stages of your child’s development, along with age-appropriate oral care products to help encourage lifelong patterns.
When to Start Proper Oral Hygiene in Young Children
Keep in mind that oral hygiene begins before your baby’s first tooth appears.
From birth to around 3 months of age, nutrition plays an important role in your child’s oral health. Most moms prefer breastfeeding during this age, but if your infant is drinking from a bottle, make sure it contains only breast milk or formula.
Moreover, letting your baby sleep with a bottle in their mouth can harm their teeth. Sugar from the milk or formula stays on the teeth, eating away at the enamel, eventually leading to pitted, discolored, or pocked baby teeth.
Here are some tips on helping your child develop healthy and strong teeth:
- Even before your baby starts teething, gently run a clean, damp washcloth over their gums after feeding
- Switching from a bottle to a sippy cup at around 6 months helps prevent the milk/formula from pooling around the child’s teeth
- When your child’s teeth erupt, brush them twice a day with an infant soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste as recommended by the ADA.
- Avoid fruit and juice drinks in your baby’s diet to avoid tooth decay
- Teach your child how to swish water around in their mouth and spit while brushing. This makes swallowing toothpaste less likely
- You may teach your child gentle flossing when their teeth start to touch
- Be sure to supervise kids aged 8 and younger while brushing, and remind them to pay attention to their back teeth
Oral Hygiene for Preteens
Gaps between primary teeth are normal because they make room for adult teeth. By the age of 6, your child’s baby teeth will loosen and fall out, and their adult or permanent teeth will start coming in. All permanent teeth mostly come in by age 13.
As children grow older and their adult teeth come in, they get into a thorough daily dental hygiene routine. Here are some tips on keeping your child’s oral hygiene on track:
1. Brushing Daily
Various toothbrushes are designed to address children’s needs at different ages, so make sure you opt for an age-appropriate toothbrush. Switch out toothbrushes every 3 to 6 months.
A good rule of thumb for daily brushing is twice daily for two minutes, paying special attention to the interdental areas.
ION-Sei ionic electric toothbrush is ideal for children aged 11 and above. This intelligent toothbrush combines the power of ion technology and advanced engineering to facilitate precise and deeper cleaning. The ions prevent bacteria from adhering to the teeth, allowing for effortless plaque removal.
The brushing motion doesn’t make a difference as long as children know that they should clean each tooth thoroughly, back and forth, top and bottom, and inside and out—and not just on the front teeth. This is where ION-Sei makes things easier!
The dentist-approved toothbrush features soft bristles that gently vibrate at 31,000 strokes per minute, allowing effective teeth and gum cleaning for adults and kids above 11.
Plus, the ionic technology toothbrush pauses every 30 seconds, reminding the user to move on to the next quadrant of the oral cavity. This specially helps kids become more diligent about brushing for a whole 2 minutes!
2. Flossing After Brushing
Flossing helps clean the area between your teeth where toothbrushes can’t reach. An analysis of 12 well-controlled studies found that flossing after brushing can reduce gingivitis, gum disease and reduce the likelihood of plaque (the sticky colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth).
Instilling the practice of flossing from an early age can help keep your child’s mouth bacteria-free and fresh for longer.
3. Looking Out For Cavities and Gum Disease
Although scheduling routine dentist appointments is crucial for kids of all ages, you and your child must learn how to spot early signs of tooth decay.
A brown, yellow, or black band on the tooth’s surface closest to the gumline indicates the progression of tooth decay. On the other hand, brownish-black stumps on teeth indicate advanced decay.
Similarly, swollen or red gums that bleed easily after brushing may indicate mild gum disease. This will probably go away on its own after a few weeks with regular brushing and flossing. However, if you see anything unusual, make a dental appointment.
Set Your Children on a Path to Improved Health with Good-Quality Oral Hygiene Products
When it comes to encouraging great oral hygiene in kids, one of the best ways is to teach by example. Brush your teeth, floss, and rinse in front of your child to show them the importance of good oral health.
Also, invest in high-quality dental care products that make maintaining a good oral care routine a breeze! Our ION-Sei ionic technology toothbrushes are innovative, intelligent, convenient, and one of the best electric toothbrushes in the market especially recommended for those with sensitive teeth and gums.
ION-Sei even made the list for GQ Grooming Awards 2021. Shop ION-Sei oral hygiene products today!
Disclaimer: This article is solely for information purposes and doesn’t intend to serve as medical advice. If you have any questions about your dental health, you should consult with a dentist or qualified health professiona