4 mistakes to avoid for the sake of your child’s dental health

Parents end up making some mistakes when it comes to their child's dental health, especially when kids start brushing on their own.
discoloured teeth in children
Make brushing teeth an everyday habit. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Parmita Uniyal Updated: 19 Jul 2022, 15:37 pm IST
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Poor oral hygiene and eating a diet high on sugar and the food items that stick to the teeth for long can play a havoc with your child’s dental health. Apart from picking the right food like vegetables and fruits and which is high on calcium, and protein, for your kid, it is also important to educate them about the right dental practices from an early age.

Experts say when we let children brush on their own in order to make them independent, we may be compromising on their dental health. It is also important to ensure your child is not indulging in habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrusting.

oral care
Watch out for cavities! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“A parent plays a very crucial role when it comes to taking care of a child’s oral health. It is very important to start early and last through teenage years – in an age-dependent fashion. It’s unfortunate that so many parents make so many mistakes when it comes to raising kids with decay-free teeth,” says Dr. Riddhi Katara, founder of Experteeth Dental Care.

Here are some common mistakes made by parents while taking care of their child’s oral health and how they can fix it, explained by Dr Katara.

1. Not paying attention to how they are brushing:

One of the common mistakes we all make is letting the children brush on their own from an early age without monitoring them. While we want to make them independent, they must be educated first about the how to brush their teeth properly and on best dental hygiene practices.

“Parents need to continue to brush their teeth until they become old enough to handle the responsibility themselves. Children don’t possess the motor control or attention to detail needed to brush properly until the age of six or seven,” says Dr. Riddhi Katara, founder of Experteeth Dental Care.

“Begin early to monitor, coach, and expect good oral hygiene at home. Model good practices and participate together. Don’t just send the child off to do it themselves and believe it is happening. Inspect results and be part of the process in an age-dependent way,” she adds.

2. Giving them food that could stick to their teeth:

Tooth decay begins to occur when plaque, a stick biofilm composed of food particles and bacteria, begins to build up in the mouth. Plaque uses the foods and drinks we eat to produce acids that erode away at enamel, which makes teeth more susceptible to decay. One must be mindful of not giving children food that is excessively sugary or sticks to their teeth.

Also Read: These 9 habits can create trouble for your baby’s milk teeth

brush teeth
Avoid food that can stick to the little one’s teeth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

3. Not correcting their habit of thumb sucking:

It is a pretty normal and a healthy habit at a young age, but it can cause some common problems such as thumb thrusting. Children have an innate need to suck they often satisfy through the use of a pacifier or by sucking on their hand or fingers. But it surely creates problems when children’s baby teeth become fully formed. The pressure the habit applies to their front teeth can push them out of alignment, causing them to protrude and increasing the child’s risk of developing an overbite and speech impediment. Parents need to teach them to give up their habit in an appropriate manner.

4. Not paying attention to tongue thrusting:

Tongue thrust appears when the tongue presses forward too far in the mouth, resulting in an abnormal orthodontic condition called an open bite. As a learned behaviour, tongue thrusting can only be corrected by teaching a child a new swallowing pattern that doesn’t involve the use of the tongue as a seal.

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