Being a parent is a very tough task, and the majority of parents have their hands full with many activities and responsibilities. Parents are always running between homework, soccer practice, laundry, packing healthy snacks, and more. All this makes it somewhat difficult for them to balance the lives of their children perfectly.
Despite this, one thing that every parent should always make time for is the oral health care of their children. The oral health and smile of a child are very important, and yet many parents make common mistakes in this department. Many parents are aware that creating good oral health habits when their children are young is very important for promoting a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth. They usually encourage their children to brush two times a day and even take them to the best dentist regularly.
However, what many parents are unaware of is that some things they are neglecting or doing at home can have an unfavorable impact on the teeth and smile of their children. Over 40% of children between the age of 2 and 11 have had cavities in their baby teeth, and this is sometimes because of some mistakes made by their parents. Read on to know the common mistakes parents make regarding the oral health care of their kids, and also how to avoid them.
5 common dental mistakes parents make
1. Not visiting a dentist early enough
It is common for kids between the age of 2 and 3 years to have severe dental issues that might require being treated under anesthesia. Not taking a child to a toddler dentist early enough plays a key role in making the problems worse. Children’s teeth start developing long before they are born. When the child is about six months old, a dentist should examine the oral health of the child and check to see if there are any chances of the child developing oral issues.
For proper assessment, the dentist might examine the mother of the child and review her dental history. The condition of the mother’s teeth and her dental health are strong predictions for the teeth of her child. If there is any imminent teeth issue in your child, the dentist will be able to detect it on time. Therefore, it is recommended that you take your baby to a dentist when they are about six months old or immediately after the eruption of their first tooth.
2. Not using enough fluoride
This is another common mistake that many parents make when it comes to the smile and oral health of their kids. Many parents do not use enough fluoride when brushing their child’s teeth. The major reason for this is that the use of fluoride is considered controversial. Nevertheless, the American Dental Association recently revised its recommendation, and even kids below the age of two should have little exposure to fluoride.
All children need pediatric fluoride treatments, and it should be an ingredient in every tooth care product that they use. It is also recommended that you purchase products with higher concentrations of fluoride than regular water. Fluoride does a lot of amazing work in the body, including preventing cavities. You should consult your pediatric dentist to get more information about how much fluoride is safe for your child. The dentist might also recommend the best tooth care products to use.
3. Letting kids brush on their own
Solo brushing time is the next mistake many parents make with the smile and oral health of their kids. They allow their kids to brush their teeth all by themselves, without any assistance or supervision. Most of the time, this happens because parents want to instill a sense of independence in their children. Other times, parents see it as a time saving measure, as they can use that time to do other things.
Whatever might be the reason, it is not good to allow your kids to brush their teeth on their own. Solo brushing is not good for children, especially for those under the age of 8. Children under the age of 8 do not have the necessary motor skills to brush their teeth effectively. The teeth might look clean after they brush them, but chances are there are many particles that they were unable to clean and get rid of. Hence, you need to help them out to make sure that their teeth are cleaned thoroughly.
4. Allowing babies to sleep with a bottle
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cause tooth decay, and many parents are still making this mistake. A recent survey by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry shows that 85% of parents said it is not a good idea to allow babies to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk. However, 20 percent of that 85 percent of parents are still doing it.
This habit is not a good practice for the babies, as it keeps the bacteria and sugar level in their mouth high at all times. While you should not stop giving your child a bottle at night when they wake up, you should make sure you wipe their mouth with a piece of gauze or soft cloth after doing that. This will help to get rid of the bacteria and sugar that are present in their mouth.
5. Not paying attention to diet
Another common mistake that many parents make is not paying attention to the diet of their kids or not having a good understanding of what kind of foods are likely to cause tooth decay. Some foods that are good for the body, such as bananas and raisins, are not very good for the teeth. Raisins can aid the development of cavities, as they are more likely to get stuck in the grooves of the teeth.
This certainly does not mean you should stop your kids from eating bananas and raisins. Rather, you should make sure that they brush their teeth very well after they have consumed such food items.
Avoiding all these mistakes is the best way to provide your kids with the smile and oral health that your children deserve. Make visiting the dentist a comfortable and regular routine for your kids, help your kids brush their teeth, and teach them good oral health habits.