Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
Getting young kids to do anything they don’t want to can be a challenge. Still, you need to stop at nothing to guarantee that their oral hygiene is perfect.
In these situations, it can be helpful to gain a wider understanding of what problems commonly affect your child’s oral hygiene. Once you have these issues in mind, you can begin implementing preventative measures or course-correcting any setbacks. In the end, you’re never without hope when it comes to your child’s oral health.
Below you’ll find a few common oral hygiene issues that children regularly experience, as well as a few tips on how to resolve them.
Sucking of the Thumb
If your child sucks their thumb, it’s easy to shrug this off as a normal thing. So long as they stop doing this between the ages of two and four, there shouldn’t be much to worry about.
However, if this habit continues beyond those ages, then it can lead to numerous problems with your child’s teeth and jaws. For instance, overbites and open bites can develop, which can cause more serious complications like their tongues potentially blocking their airways.
Additionally, young children likely don’t give their hands a good clean via their own volition often. Therefore, they could be putting a good deal of harmful bacteria into their mouths at any thumb sucking opportunity as well.
The consensus is that a child should stop sucking their thumb as soon as possible to prevent these problems from occurring. To help this process, you may need to monitor their progress, provide incentives, and offer up bouts of encouragement throughout this phase. If you fail to subvert the issue within the two-to-four-year timeframe, a trip to the dentist should help to set these matters right.
Excess Sugar Intake
It’s no secret that kids love a tasty treat. Still, excessive consumption of these snacks can lead to numerous oral health problems, including baby tooth decay and early childhood caries.
In 2019, it was reported that one in three kids had tooth decay, with sugar being squarely blamed for the statistics. Therefore, you must be careful in managing your sugar intake because it can lead to teeth extraction or dental treatment under general anaesthesia for very young children. After all, they tend to not cooperate in a regular dental chair as adults usually do.
Some suggestions for cutting back on sugar include:
- Learning to say no – Your kids may throw a tantrum when denied their sugary snacks but learning to say no to them is crucial to their wellbeing.
- Cook better meals – When your kids are full from a good meal, they be less inclined to consume junk food. The inclusion of vegetables can help teeth and gum health substantially too.
- Introduce snacks that help oral hygiene – Nuts, fruits, yoghurts, and crunchy carrots can help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Crisp foods can sometimes help in cleaning plaque as well.
- Check labels – You may presume that some of the products you buy are low in sugar, but you’ll never really know for sure unless you check the labels. Do some reading and independent research, and you may be surprised by what you dig up.
As you can see, this is something of a multifaceted process. Still, so long as you remain committed to managing your child’s sugar intake, you should find that things get easier over time. Establish a routine with it all, and your child may not ever feel like they’re missing out.
Fear of the Dentist
Your child can’t have good oral hygiene without embarking on their scheduled trips to the dentist. Moreover, if they’re afraid of these trips, they may not be able to appreciate its value or heed much of the guidance they’ve been given.
You can put their minds at ease by finding a child-friendly service for them. For example, this Paediatric dentist in Brisbane recommends child-focused dentists who are skilled with behaviour management techniques. They work hard to create a calm and non-threatening environment. Moreover, these specialists provide helpful advice, too, such as substituting trigger words like ‘drill’ with more calming alternate phrases.
Once your child is comfortable, they may listen more effectively to the oral health instructions the dentist gives them. You can create positive energy around their oral hygiene in these settings, which may encourage them to be more proactive in their teeth cleaning regimens.
Improper Brushing of the Teeth
Young kids may be more likely to use their toothbrushes as magic wands if they’re unsupervised. Therefore, you need to encourage proper teeth cleaning techniques.
Your kids should brush their teeth twice daily. Use a child-friendly fluoride toothpaste, and ensure they keep cleaning for at least two minutes. Make sure they don’t try to chew the toothbrush or eat the paste. They also need to brush the front, back, and sides of their teeth, so keep an eye on how thorough they are.
To inspire their motivation, you can make things more fun. Perhaps brush along with them and play some music? Anything that makes the process feel less like a chore will undoubtedly help and ensure they brush every corner of their teeth before leaving the bathroom.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post