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Teach your kids to focus on their dental care from the early years. This is very important because if their dental hygiene is not proper, it affects their general health as well. You have to be alert and promote ways to develop their teeth in a proper manner.
The concept of clean teeth or dental hygiene is not something that primary school kids are aware of. They may not even be sure about the correct approach to cleaning their teeth, unless they are taught right. This is why parents should guide them the right way and promote the importance of good dental hygiene. Similarly, kids get scared when a tooth falls off or are in pain when a new one starts to form. You need to help them deal with it and focus on proper development of the new teeth that are still forming.
Your Primary School Kid’s Teeth
Most children start schooling while they have their baby teeth. Adult teeth usually erupt after 6 years of age. As your child’s front teeth are falling off, the adult teeth come behind the baby teeth. This is the start for the permanent teeth to grow. By the end of a child’s primary school, the molar and canine milk teeth get replaced by permanent teeth.
Aspects that Influence the Healthy Development of your Kid’s Teeth
It is important for your child to have a proper diet which is high in dairy foods, especially. This is because dairy products contain calcium, which is the most essential mineral needed during the formation of teeth. Help your child make correct choices of food, especially when he buys school lunches. Children need to learn healthy eating habits, which would then be carried forward into the later years.
Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth
You need to help your child to clean his teeth, till he is at least 6 years old. Teeth should be cleaned twice daily. The toothpaste should have fluoride and the brush should be small and soft. The gaps between two teeth should be cleaned with floss. You could also use mouthwash to get rid of the plaque. However, dilute the mouthwash with equal proportions of water and then use it for rinsing the mouth of the kid. Make sure you tell the kid to not swallow the mouthwash, but to spit it out after 30 seconds.
Fluoride to Protect Teeth
Fluoridated water is the best way to protect teeth in all age groups. Toothpastes should be fluoridated. If you live in an area which has non-fluoridated water, your child could face dental problems. In such cases, you should ask your dentist about including extra fluorides in your dental care routine by the way of mouthwashes, for preventing dental decay.
This is a plastic coating which is used on the biting surfaces of the teeth. It helps the teeth to stay clean and prevents them from decay.
Some children may have the habit of sucking their thumbs till the age of 2-4 years. However, if they are sucking their thumb even after reaching 5-6 years of age, many dental problems can arise in later years. If the child sucks vigorously ( you will be able to tell if you hear a popping sound every time you remove the thumb out from his mouth) then it can impact growth of his jaw and disrupt the alignment of his teeth. In such cases, consult a dentist.
Accidents involving Teeth
If your child had an accident which affected his teeth, you must consult a dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will be able to diagnose if there is any problem. He might recommend x-rays and can offer the best care. Long term success from treatments often relies on how soon the problem is pinpointed and gets treated.
It is normal for school going kids to clench their teeth firmly or just grind it hard in a way that it makes a noise. Many children also grind their teeth during sleep. However, if this persists for a long period then it can do severe damage to the teeth. Many children complain of tooth or jaw pain and headaches due to their constant teeth grinding habit. For this, you will need to resort to certain devices that will help to do away with the grinding. Additionally, make sure to consult a doctor.
Tackling Certain Teeth Concerns
Use of Dental Sealants
Some dentists may suggest dental sealants for school going children. They are thin plastic coatings that are bounded to the chewing surfaces of teeth. These are helpful in stopping plaque build up and thereby prevent tooth decay. They are not painful but may cause a slight discomfort. They do not stay forever and are changed by the dentist over a period of time.
Use of Mouth Guards
They are a great help to prevent your child’s teeth, in case he knocks or falls. There are ready-made guards that you can mould around your child’s teeth or customized ones, that are specifically designed by a professional to fit your child’s teeth. When you are buying them make sure that they:
- Are thick, at least 4 mm to protect against impact
- Fit comfortably
- Are odorless and tasteless
- Let the child breathe and swallow properly
- Allow proper speech
So, make sure that since childhood, your little one focuses on taking proper care of his teeth. A nicely aligned pair of pearly whites will always earn him compliments!