Published: 09/20/2021

Caring for dental hygiene is important as it lays the foundation for good oral health throughout their lifetime. Teaching and guiding children on the importance of good oral hygiene will help them to develop good oral habits early in life. Additionally, they can also be taught healthy food habits that play an important role in dental health.

dental hygiene in children

Dental hygiene is not just teaching them to brush, it also involves a child taking an active role in ensuring the oral hygiene is maintained. This habit which is started young will help to keep away dental disorders like cavities, gum diseases, decay. Proper dental hygiene is important for good teeth development. Along with these measures, having dental consultations twice a year for routine check-ups and also checking on when there are dental problems.

Cleaning teeth

When a child is quite young, before their teeth have erupted, it is recommended to wipe the gums with a soft clean cloth. This will help to remove any remnants of milk or fruit juice or soft food that is consumed by the child. Encouraging the child to drink water will also help to remove food debris. In older children who are able to brush their teeth on their own- encouraging brushing twice a day, flossing to remove food stuck between teeth.

Teaching kids how to brush and floss and guiding them when they do it on their own will help children to have a proper cleaning routine. Older children should also follow this routine as this helps to maintain good oral hygiene. Most dental issues start with improper cleaning practices and it is important to develop good proper cleaning hygiene for children right from their childhood.

Fluoride for children

Young children need fluoride as this helps to provide extra support for their oral development. If the water consumed does not contain fluoride then dentists will prescribe tablets for children to consume. Children need to take fluoride as medicine or from water or having it as an ingredient in their toothpaste. It helps to slow down tooth decay in children.

Decay in the teeth happens when bacteria in the mouth act on sugary food or other food debris that is present in the mouth. These acids will work on the dental enamel which is the protective coating of the teeth and cause damage. Fluoride helps to stop this damage from happening and also supports enamel formation.

In younger children, dentists sometimes suggest applying fluoride varnish to provide them with protection. Children who are growing need strong teeth and also teeth that are protected from decay.

Dental cavities

Cavities are seen in children at the same rate they are seen in adults. The main reason for cavities in children will be the sugary food that is consumed. Milk, juices, cereals – most of the food given to children contains sugars/added sugars in them. Many children have the habit of drinking milk at bedtime. When this happens, there will be remnants of milk in the child’s mouth and attracts bacterial action. They will work on the enamel and start tooth decay. If unchecked then it proceeds to dental cavities. Measures must be taken for the child’s mouth to be clean and practice brushing twice a day.

When the children are older, they must be taught to brush before going to bed. This will clean the mouth from any food debris and cut down the chances of tooth decay to a large extent. When dental cavities develop along with the teeth, they damage the gum lining and neighbouring teeth as well. If this happens during the growing ages, proper tooth development is affected and the overall dental health can also be impaired.

Diet

Nutrition and being healthy is connected be it oral health or general health is something everyone knows. Providing a child food that is healthy and wholesome will go a long way in providing good dental health for the children. When tooth development goes in the correct manner, then there will be fewer chances of dental issues affecting the child. Food that is sugary and chewy stick to the teeth and gaps and can cause teeth decay. Reducing food in this category as well as cutting fizzy drinks will promote health and hygiene among children. Snacking on junk food can also affect dental hygiene and health. It is important that food consumed promotes good oral health and also reduce the chances of other dental issues from cropping up. Healthy and hygienic teeth and gums promote the general health of a person.

Looking at the overall importance of dental hygiene – it can be said that dental hygiene helps to improve the overall general health of children. It helps in having good oral health and provides a foundation for good dental health for a lifetime. Mentioned above are the main factors that show why dental hygiene is important.

Maintaining good hygiene also refers to taking a proactive measure as in going for dental consultations. This helps to identify dental problems at their onset. Dentists can guide and support children in ways they can tide over their dental problems. Early detection of dental diseases will also help to arrest the progression of the diseases in children.

It is not just dental problems that are arrested, other diseases such as diabetes, fungal infection, cancer, sepsis etc. These disease conditions are often seen as minor symptoms appearing in the oral region. Hence is it important that oral hygiene and dental hygiene are given utmost importance and children are also taught about this right from the beginning.

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