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The Importance of Teaching Your Children About Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene matters for a child’s development; about one in three children don’t brush their teeth often enough, causing problems such as damaged teeth and cavities. Children who do brush their teeth twice a day are at less risk of oral complications than those who don’t. Children who maintain good oral hygiene also have been shown to have a more positive attitude, a high self-image, and tend to perform better in school. Parents play a vital role in how kids grow, but if you have children who forget to brush their teeth, or have a hard time with brushing teeth, we’ll inform you of why it matters, and how you can help improve their brushing habits.

Why Good Hygiene Matters For Children

The simple process of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day keeps the mouth as clean as possible because keeping germs out of the mouth will give children a lesser chance of developing dental diseases and tooth loss. Poor dental hygiene can lead to many issues, such as:

Bad Breath: This one’s a visible sign, but an important one. Bad breath can show the tell-tale signs of tooth and gum problems. But it also helps you recognize when your child hasn’t brushed their teeth yet or how long they’ve gone without brushing their teeth.

Plaque/Tartar Buildup: If you start to notice yellow buildup along with the outer teeth and near then gums, that means that your child’s teeth are starting to buildup plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria, which can easily be removed with regular brushing and flossing. However, if left there for long periods, it turns into tartar, which cannot be removed through normal oral hygiene means.

Difficulty chewing/speaking: If you notice that your child’s been having difficulties eating foods such as meat, vegetables, and nuts, then there may be some issues with your child’s teeth. If you notice any deformities, such as an overbite, hurting jawline, or constant chewing on the inside of their mouth, then visit your pediatric dentist for an appointment.

Gum disease: Seeing swollen gums is obvious, and when children have it, gum disease can lead to infections in the teeth and mouth, causing significant problems with maintaining good oral hygiene. If you notice your child’s gums are swollen, emphasizing brushing and flossing can help protect your child’s teeth from making gum disease worse.

Cavities: As one of the most often problems seen in children’s teeth, cavities are usually the result of bad oral hygiene habits and eating too many sugary foods. Cavities are decayed areas of the tooth that can cause infections, toothaches, and eventually, tooth loss if not treated. Dental sealants and fillings can help protect the cavities from getting worse.

Tips to Help Your Child Prevent Cavities

Some tips that can help your child develop better oral habits include:

  • Give your child a fun-colored tooth brushing
  • Brush your teeth with your children’s
  • Limit sweets and sugary foods
  • Set a timer for brushing/flossing
  • Reward their good behavior

Dr. Swati Singh at Smiling Kids Pediatric Dentistry, located in Indianapolis, IN, can help teach your children better oral habits and help take care of their teeth with you. If you need to schedule an appointment, then contact Dr. Singh today.