Helping your child with their dental problems

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Written by Dr Amrita Jain

July 28, 2021

Having a child is a big responsibility, and with this comes teaching them the right things. All parents want to teach their children the right way to go about things and teach them all the life lessons that they might have experienced. No one wants their child to go through the things they might have, then why pass on dental problems? As parents let’s educate ourselves to educate the future generations to take care of their teeth.

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Proper brushing techniques for children

Do you ever wonder why my child is getting tooth cavities though you are making him brush his/ her teeth daily? This means the technique of brushing is wrong. Your child is supposed to brush in small circular motions with gentle pressure. Explain to them to not scrub their teeth, but just clean them with gentle brushing strokes.

Make sure to clean not only the front portions of their teeth but also the insides of upper and lower teeth. Make sure the brush reaches the last tooth in the mouth on either side. Reward your child if she/ he has done a good job at brushing. Rewarding can be in ways of reading books, storytelling or even giving them a star. This motivates them to seek brushing as important as other hygiene practices.

If your child is not able to understand then make your child stand in the brushing position in front of the mirror and ask her/ him to make big circles in front of their mouth holding the toothbrush. This will help him/her to get a better understanding of how he/she is supposed to brush once the toothbrush is inside the mouth and help him understand he is not supposed to brush in a haphazard manner. Show them videos on tooth brushing. As it’s said, children learn by observing, don’t just tell them, showing them the process always works. Tooth brushing can be a parent-children activity too. Show them how much you enjoy tooth brushing and brush along with them this way you take care of your oral hygiene too.

All young children need help and supervision till the age of 5 to ensure a good job is done. When possible, teach children to spit out extra toothpaste to avoid swallowing excessive amounts of fluoride. The little bit of toothpaste left behind in the mouth is good for the teeth. This is because the fluoride in the toothpaste gets enough time to react with the tooth forming fluorapatite crystals making your child’s teeth even more strong.

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Observing your child’s mouth

All young children need help with brushing their teeth from an adult to ensure a good job is done. Supervise till the age of 5 years to make sure your child is brushing properly to avoid any dental problems in the future. Take a look at your child’s teeth every 2 weeks for any black spots or lines, holes in the tooth, gaps between teeth, food stuck between teeth, stains, discolored teeth, black teeth, any redness in the mouth.

Must Do’s at night

1.Make your child rinse his/ her teeth after meals.

2.Night time is when even you as parents would have more time to actually teach your kids to floss. Yes! flossing is not only for adults. If you actually want to help your child prevent cavities flossing is a must.

3. After flossing the next step is to brush. Once the surfaces between the teeth are clean, brushing teeth at night will help fluoride to act for a longer duration of time and make your child’s teeth even stronger. Flossing will clean the areas between the teeth, that’s where the maximum amount of food is accumulated/ stuck.

4. Tongue cleaning: Tongue cleaning is not only for the morning times, in fact cleaning your tongue at night will further clear off the bacteria on the tongue. They say, tongue cleaning at night can also help reduce the chances of falling sick. That’s because nothing is left behind and bacteria multiplication is not allowed to happen.

5. Check your teeth. Do “eee” in front of the mirror and check if you have cleaned your teeth properly.

Best food for strong teeth :

Fruits: bananas, apples,

Vegetables: carrots, cucumbers

Dairy: Cheese, milk, yogurt, soya milk, tofu, cottage cheese

Greens: spinach, broccoli, kale

Common dental problems children face

  • Teething
    During teething babies experience gum irritations and pain on their gum pads. Sometimes there can also be bleeding or redness of the gums. Application of soothing gels or home remedies like applying ghee help the baby get instant relief.
  • Cavities
    Tooth decay, with or without pain is the most common of all. Visiting a dentist to get a filling at the earliest will save your child from further complicated treatments like root canal treatments.
  • Severe tooth pain with swelling
    Severe tooth pain with swelling calls for an emergency. Cleaning the infection followed by a children’s root canal treatment is a must to save your child from getting his/her tooth removed before the eruption of the permanent teeth.
  • Rampant caries
    If upper front 4 teeth are brown to black in color and decayed then fillings or a root canal treatment may be required if the child if under the age of 5.
  • Ulcerations in the mouth may appear as injuries due to object chewing and pencil chewing. You can either apply ghee or soothing gels prescribed by your dentist.
  • Chipped tooth/ broken tooth due to accidental fall on the face may require immediate attention by your dentist.
  • Moving or shaking milk teeth with slight gum irritations may happen. Falling out of these teeth makes space for permanent teeth. If irritations are severe visit your dentist to either remove the tooth or tele consult your dentist for soothing gels.

Home remedies

  • Rinsing the mouth with plain water after every meals reduces the chances of tooth cavities.
  • Chewing on a carrot or cucumber after having sweets or chocolates flushes out the sugars stuck on your teeth preventing cavities.
  • Drinking plenty of water – this will help flush out the food left behind in the mouth and prevent cavities.

Highlights

  • Teaching your kids to brush can be stressful, but it’s also important. A quick tip is to even brush with them as they learn from observing.
  • Make brushing easy and fun for kids and help them enjoy the activity.
  • Observe for and black to brown spots or holes in the tooth. Observing your child’s mouth once every week can help to detect early dental diseases and ensure the treatment at the right time.
  • Night time dental care is much more important than morning dental care routine. So do not skip on this one.
  • Help your child eat the foods that make teeth more healthy and strong.
  • Take your child to the dentist if you see any alarming signs. Do not ignore your child’s complaints about his / her tooth pain.
  • Follow home remedies and tips to help and save your child, from suffering, from any kind of dental diseases.

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1 Comment

  1. DentalSave

    Very nice post!
    I think that train children to brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and to floss routinely.

    Reply

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Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.
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