Most parents have a tough time teaching their child good oral hygiene practices. Let’s tell you how to go about it the easy way.
By Dr Sonali Bassi
I still remember how my mother managed to instil in me the importance of good oral hygiene from a very young age. Teaching dental health care practices to young children is an investment that will pay dividends lifelong.
Ideally, dental care should start as soon as the first tooth erupts, and the first visit to the dentist should be around the first birthday. By the time children turn 3 years old, they should begin brushing their teeth once a day. And by the time they are 4, they should be brushing twice a day.
Encourage your child to begin brushing by giving him a soft toothbrush and pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. If possible, during the initial stages, you can brush along with him to make him imitate you and learn proper brushing techniques. Once your child turns 6, you can change him over to regular fluoride toothpaste. However, parental supervision is recommended until children are at least 8 years old to help them learn how to brush their teeth the right way.
Let’s look at some magic mantras to help you take care of your child’s teeth and inculcate good dental care habits in her as well:
Although there are many ways of teaching your child how to take care of his teeth, leading by example is the best way. And once your child begins to show interest and emulate you, find ways to make dental care fun and a regular habit.
But with all these tips on dental hygiene for kids, another very important advice is to love your child unconditionally and spend as much quality time as you can with her, as children grow up so fast that you wouldn’t even realise.
The author is a leading practicing dentist with a degree in Dental Medicine and Surgery.
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Dr Sonali Bassi