The groundwork for a healthy smile lies in an individual’s personal dental hygiene. And that foundation begins at childhood. Several studies show that a poor diet and inadequate tooth-brushing habits during the first few years of life directly relate to tooth decay in children. The oral health during the primary teeth period in life directly correlates to a person’s permanent teeth. Therefore, it is essential to a person’s long term oral health that proper dental care habits are instilled in the child early in life.
Parents must be positive examples when it comes to oral health. Children watch their parents. They imitate and learn from their parents’ habits. Good habits will inspire children to do well and excel, while negative habits will cause breakdown and decline. Proper tooth-brushing methods should be presented as a habit and an integral part of the daily hygiene routine. Children are extremely sensitive to social stimuli such as compliments and emotions. Physiological, mental, and social development affects the oral care of children and should be taken with the utmost seriousness in the care and upbringing of children.
Proper Oral Care Methods
Proper tooth brushing should be applied twice daily. A person should choose a toothbrush with the proper firmness of bristles. Toothbrushes come with soft, medium, and firm bristle styles. Consultation with a dentist should be performed prior to purchasing a medium- or firm-bristle toothbrush, as using too-firm bristles can cause long term damage to the teeth and gums. Plaque forms at the gum line of teeth, and the gums and gum lines should be cleaned just as well as the teeth themselves.
Children always use too much of something when learning. Just as with tissues or ketchup, the proper amount of toothpaste to be used each time is commonly overl-exaggerated in kids. It does not take much toothpaste. No more than a pea-sized amount for children is necessary for proper cleaning.
Flossing daily is the best prevention of gum diseases like gingivitis. It is also key to removing bits of plaque in-between teeth that brushing simply cannot get to. Parents should be assisting their children in flossing as soon as the child has teeth that butt up against one another.
Using a commercial mouthwash is also a good method to prevent common problems with oral hygiene. Some people believe that using mouthwashes can replace certain portions of proper oral hygiene such as flossing. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While important to daily oral routine, mouthwashes are not meant to replace any portion of the oral cleaning processes and should be used in conjunction with flossing and brushing.
A water pick can also be a good method to remove plaque from teeth. They utilize pressurized water to blast away the excess plaque and debris from teeth and the gum line. Water picks tend to be a bit on the expensive side and, despite their effectiveness, should not replace any of the well-rounded, basic methods of oral care mentioned previously.
Using fluoride during dental visits as well as choosing a proper fluoride toothpaste is essential to proper tooth care.
Resources for Proper Oral Care
It should be noted that an individual should visit a dentist every 6 months for a proper cleaning. Children as young as 6 months to a year old should start seeing their pediatric dentist regularly. Be certain to consult a dentist about any questions regarding proper oral health care. Resources like those provided by practicing Kansas City preventive treatments are available to the public to learn more about proper oral care methods.