“Muskurane ki wajah tum ho” – Here is a song dedicated to your dental habits. For it is because of the oral hygiene that you are able to smile with your pearly teeth showing. But maintaining good sanitation is a practice that starts from a very young age. Unlike adults, children are more prone to have cavities and thus require more care. Common dental mistakes are sometimes made with kids’ teeth.
In this article, we will expand on some mistakes that parents make with their kid’s teeth.
- Nearly 60-90% of school-attending children in India have cavities
- It is a myth that baby teeth or milk teeth are not as important
- In every Indian city, 3 in 5 children have some dental hygiene problems
- Approximately, 30% of children have misaligned teeth and jaw
Common Dental Mistakes
Since parents are also just humans, it is valid that they make mistakes. But these mistakes should be avoided, as they can cost one enormously.
Mistake 1: Taking your child to the dentist very late.
A famous quote says “the biggest trouble is that we think we have time”. This saying fits perfectly in the case of parents who think that visits to the dentist can wait. One of the most common blunders parents make is the delay in dental visits. Only a dentist will be able to find unseen problems (if any). Thereby, regular checkups should be made from an early age.
Solution: A child should be taken for the first dental visit when their first teeth start erupting or at the age of 1.
Mistake 2: Letting the child brush his/her teeth on their own.
Children are enthusiastic little beings. One can see their curiosity to do almost anything when they ‘play-pretend’. But these make-believe games also lets one know that children, well, are children. They lack the aptitude to effectively brush their teeth. If you allow them to brush on their own they leave several surfaces unclean.
Solution: Parents should provide supervision to children while brushing teeth. They should oversee the act of brushing until the child is 8 years old.
Mistake 3: Putting babies to sleep with their bottle
We can all agree that babies are the cutest. Yet these cute tiny creatures can be masters of nuisances, as they have a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night. The prize for such sudden rise and shine moments of the babies is paid by the parent’s sleep.
In order to have uninterrupted sleep, parents would put their babies to bed with bottles or sippy cups in their mouths. This keeps the infant from waking up cranky. However, it gradually leads to tooth decay. The sugar levels in the babies’ mouths increase and cause various problems later.
Solution: Do not put the child with a bottle to bed. Wipe the baby’s mouth after he/she wakes up.
Mistake 4: Giving children snacks that stick to the teeth
Parents are wise and won’t give chips or chocolates to their children for snacks. They choose bananas, raisins, or whole-grain crackers. But this intended ‘healthy’ choice of food may not be all that good. These food products have high levels of sugar. When a child eats them, the components stick to the teeth or settles in the space between.
Solution: Choose fruits that do not stick to the teeth. If you want to offer the above-mentioned snacks, make sure you accompany it with water so that the food washes down the mouth.
Mistake 5: Not paying enough attention to baby teeth
Everything about a baby needs immense attention. Their food, hair, skin, nails, teeth, and everything else. Baby teeth, though, are kept aside by many parents. They may rejoice when new teeth erupt. But adequate hygiene practices are rarely followed. With access to diverse oral care products, parents also think that cavities are not a big deal. On the contrary, baby teeth can get cavities and cause lifelong troubles.
Solution: Proper oral sanitation should be kept from the onset of the first tooth to avoid cavities. If a cavity is present, the right treatment should be given.
Mistake 6: Not using toothpaste with fluoride
Children get easily attracted to fancy colorful objects. Marketers have flooded the stores with shiny toothpaste that tempt children and parents. However, these toothpaste may not be appropriate. Dentists suggest that, like adults, children should also brush their teeth with fluoride-induced toothpaste. It is because fluoride can help in the prevention of cavities, which can further prevent various other health conditions.
Solution: Talk to your dentist about the amount of fluoride you should expose to your child.
Mistake 7: Giving soft drinks or sugary drinks to children
Your little one would want to take one sip of your soft drink. Or you may be lured by their cuteness and buy them a sugary drink like cola. But this moment of being carried away can have consequences. Soft drinks subject a child’s teeth to sugar and bacteria. The accumulation of this bacteria in the mouth for a longer period of time can cause tooth decay.
Solution: Instead of soft drinks, juices or cola, offer water to your child and brush their teeth twice a day.
The above points are common dental mistakes that Indian parents make. It is okay to not be perfect at parenting. But awareness and action can lead to better nurturing.
The above-given solutions should be brought into practice as an everyday routine. Then only results can be sought. By rehearsing the right oral hygiene steps, you can switch from the role of a parent to that of a tooth fairy for your child.
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