Oral hygiene is about more than just having a good smile. Children who have good oral hygiene will generally be healthier and happier than children who have dental issues. Though many parents believe that oral care for children is of little importance due to children having baby teeth that they will lose, the truth is that there are many reasons why dental care should be a top priority for children.
Though a young child’s primary teeth will be replaced by permanent adult teeth, parents still need to begin teaching children about proper dental hygiene at a young age. A child who learns to care for his or her teeth early in life will be more likely to practice good hygiene habits later in life which will result in fewer dental problems.
Dental caries, or cavities, are a common health problem for many children. These caries can make it painful for a child to eat and can even make it difficult for the child to concentrate in school and enjoy daily activities. However, by thoroughly brushing, flossing and seeing a dentist at regular intervals, a child will be able to eliminate or reduce dental caries and prevent many of the sources of dental pain.
In addition to preventing tooth decay, proper dental care will also help to protect a child from becoming ill. Dental caries and other oral health problems can expose a child’s body to a range of germs from the environment. Though the body has defenses for swallowed or inhaled germs, germs that enter the mouth can go directly into the blood stream via sores in the mouth. By practicing good oral hygiene, a child will have a healthier mouth that can help prevent germs from entering into the body.
A parent should begin cleaning a baby’s teeth according to the recommendation of the baby’s doctor as soon as the teeth erupt from the gums. Children should begin brushing their own teeth by age six or so. Though a six year old may have the coordination to brush his or her own teeth, a parent still needs to supervise the brushing to make certain that it is completed thoroughly. Children should also begin to see a dentist shortly after teeth begin to appear to assure that the teeth are developing normally.
Corrective dental care can be expensive. This means that parents should be certain that children are practicing good oral hygiene habits to keep teeth clean and healthy. Preventing dental issues through brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will cost far less than dealing with cavities and other dental problems. This is especially true as some largely preventable dental problems such as gum disease and tooth loss can result in misaligned teeth that will require braces or other expensive orthodontia to correct.
With there being so many benefits of practicing good oral hygiene for children, every parent needs to take action to make sure that his or her child’s teeth are kept clean and healthy. In fact, parents and children can clean their teeth together. This will allow the parent to set a good example for the child while making sure that the child is properly cleaning his or her teeth.