It is natural for parents to want what is best for their children. In fact, it is the role of parents to ensure their children's welfare. Parents put a lot of effort into the physical and mental health as well as the emotional and social well-being of their kids. Unfortunately, some parents overlook their child's oral health. The condition of their child's teeth and gums somehow take a back seat.
This inequality to their child's oral health is often not intentional. It can be hard to figure out what one should or should not do to ensure their child's optimal oral health.
Below are a couple parenting mistakes that most parents do not think of that are hurting their child's oral health:
Giving their children bottles of juice or milk at bedtime. Giving your child a bottle of sweet goodness may make your young sleepy and quiet so you can catch up on some Zzz's, but it is also ruining their oral health. Sugar, especially processed and refined sugar is a sure way to increase the likelihood of your child getting cavities.
Food particles and sugar particles from beverages and meals get lodged in and between teeth if they are not rinsed out.
To avoid plaque and tartar build-up, your child's teeth and gums should be brushed and cleaned after every meal.
When babies go to bed with a bottle of anything other than water, they are consuming large amounts of sugar right before bed. Not only will the sugar likely keep them up, but the natural production of saliva slows down, providing a better environment for the plaque to grow and flourish.
If your baby is fussy, fill it with water instead.
Delaying their child's first dental appointment. Some parents believe that their child is to see the dentist for the first time after all their primary teeth have come in. For the optimal dental health of their children and for positive future dental experiences, parents are encouraged to take their child in to meet the dentist by their first birthday. This first dental appointment is more for the purpose of acquitting the child to the dental office. The first dental examination and cleaning should be done by the child's third birthday. The dental cleaning can be done before all the primary teeth have come in. Cleaning the gums where the teeth will erupt is necessary to ensure the teeth grow in healthy and strong. It is never too early to begin cleaning your child's gums and teeth.
Introducing your child to the dentist at an early age will decrease their fear of the dentist later on.
Not using fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is an essential mineral needed for teeth growth and strength. It makes teeth more resistant to cavities. Cavities can form as soon as the very first tooth erupts. Some parents think that cavities on their child's primary teeth do not matter because they will only fall out later. Cavities in primary teeth, however, can infiltrate into the permanent teeth underneath.
Using fluoride toothpaste (used in very small amounts and under supervision) can give young children a healthy and strong foundation on which to build a healthy, life-long smile upon.
Allowed or enabling thumb sucking. Thumb sucking is a natural tender for babies and toddlers. It is a comforting, coping mechanism. The thumb sucking behavior is expected for little ones, but it can be devastating to a child's proper oral development if it is allowed, supported or encouraged after the age of three. Thumb sucking over time causes teeth to grow crooked, creating either an under-or over-bite that can take many years of orthodontic work to successfully correct. Having crooked teeth and an incorrect bite will make it harder for your child to correctly speak and chew. The misaligned teeth and bite can also negatively impact their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Parents want what is best for their children, but sometimes their child's dental health does not take precedence. Some parents do not understand the importance of a healthy smile for their children. Others do not know how to give their children teeth and gums resilient to decay and disease. Parents, therefore, unintentionally do things that harm their child's oral health instead of better it.
Thumb sucking, feeding their children bottles of sugary drinks at bedtime, postponing taking their children to the dentist and not using fluoride toothpaste to clean their children's teeth and gums are common mistakes parents make concerning their children's oral health.