Why Dental Care And Hygiene Are Crucial To Children

HomeDentalWhy Dental Care And Hygiene Are Crucial To Children

It’s a priority for parents to provide their children with the best care possible, including protecting their overall health. However, this task sometimes confuses or worries parents, especially when caring for their children’s dental health. Some parents may feel uncertain about what to do when their baby starts teething, while others may need guidance on maintaining their baby’s dental hygiene. While it’s essential to a child’s well-being, proper dental care for infants, toddlers, and small children remains unknown to many.


The Family Dental Health Center, a health facility specializing in pediatric dentistry, shared basic guidelines on its website, https://www.familydentalhealth.com/pediatric-dental-services. Accordingly, children should be able to receive proper dental care from a certified practitioner within six months after the first tooth appears. The same applies when a child turns four, as it’s the time to teach the child about dental hygiene and avoid habits that damage the teeth, including thumb sucking or eating too many sweets.

Dental care and hygiene should start early childhood to help the child view it as a regular part of daily life. Continue reading this article to discover their importance for children’s health and development.

1. To Prevent Dental Pain

Dealing with dental pain can pose several challenges for parents and their children. For one, very young children may have difficulty managing and understanding the pain they’re experiencing, and some may even develop a fever due to distress. Meanwhile, schoolchildren suffering from toothaches may have trouble concentrating on schoolwork or activities. 

Hence, it’s up to the parents to ensure their children receive the dental care they need to prevent dental pain or provide relief. 

Here are some ways to alleviate dental pain using natural remedies at home: 

  • Give the child salt water for gargling in case of pain or inflammation.   
  • Apply a cold compress to the inflamed area. 
  • Prepare a paste made of crushed garlic and apply it to the afflicted site. 
  • Put a few drops of vanilla extract on the affected area several times a day. 

These remedies can provide temporary pain relief, though it’s still best to consult with a dentist immediately. Depending on the severity of the pain or the tooth’s condition, your dentist may prescribe pain medication or schedule a tooth extraction when necessary.

2. To Prevent Tooth Damage

Children experience tooth damage due to bacterial growth, plaque buildup, and overconsumption of sugary foods. Commonly, bacteria thrive in areas inside the mouth where food debris is often trapped, making them prone to decay or infection. Hence, if the child doesn’t brush and floss their teeth regularly, it can lead to bacteria buildup and, eventually, tooth damage.

For this reason, it’s vital to help your children maintain dental health at home to protect them from caries or cavities. You can also improve your oral health by getting dental prophylaxis every six months.

3. To Protect Children Against Mental And Emotional Distress

Poor dental health can significantly impact a child’s mental and emotional state, especially if their oral health causes them to feel isolated from their peers. When children have badly damaged teeth, for instance, it’s possible for them to feel less confident interacting with others because of its impact on their appearance. Moreover, the child’s self-esteem can also suffer if they’re teased because of poor oral hygiene and dental ailments. 

To avoid mental and emotional distress, parents need to offer guidance and support to their children when they’re experiencing problems with oral health. It’s also vital to explain the importance of caring for one’s teeth to prevent the development of serious ailments. Finally, you can encourage your child by emphasizing that most oral health problems are avoidable through proper treatment and hygiene.

4. To Avoid Chronic Ailments

Apart from the detrimental effects of bacterial growth and infection on teeth and gums, lack of dental care and hygiene can also lead to the development of chronic illnesses, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Endocarditis
  • Oral cancer

It’s crucial to care for one’s oral health early in life to prevent these ailments by maintaining proper hygiene and having regular checkups.

How To Care For A Child’s Dental Health

Aside from acquiring professional dental services, maintaining oral hygiene at home is equally important in protecting your child’s oral health. Here are some essential tips on how you can create an effective oral health routine for your child:

  • Oral Care From Infancy

Clean your child’s teeth and gums as soon as the first set appears. You can use an appropriately-sized toothbrush depending on your child’s age. Also, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, infant teeth should be cleaned with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily for cavity prevention. 

Children ages four and above can commonly brush their teeth, and parents must encourage regular brushing at least twice daily to maintain optimal hygiene. 

  • Proper Nutrition

Your children’s nutrition also significantly affects their oral health, so it’s essential to teach them its importance early on. Besides limiting the consumption of sugary items, it will also be helpful to encourage them to eat more nutritious food items that boost dental health, which includes sources of calcium, Vitamin C, and phosphorus.  

  • Sufficient Hydration

Encourage the children to stay hydrated as regular water consumption prevents plaque buildup and protects the tooth enamel from cavities. Water also boosts gum health by keeping it hydrated while washing away food residue that triggers bacterial growth. In effect, you can prevent gum disease by keeping your child sufficiently hydrated.

It will be beneficial for your children to learn healthy oral habits early on, as they’ll be more likely to retain them as they age. Also, boosting their awareness of dental care’s importance will help them prioritize their health and wellness.

Conclusion

Early intervention in a child’s oral health is a wise investment toward improved health and unhampered development. Proper dental care protects a child from pain, tooth damage, and other related ailments. Furthermore, it also allows the child to achieve optimal cognitive and psychosocial development. These benefits underscore the importance of professional dental preventive services for children. Hence, it’s best to make dental clinic visits a part of your child’s healthcare routine.

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