Oral health in children is often one of the most affected. A major section of children between the age of two to eleven are seen to have cavities in their teeth. If you want to ensure that your baby’s teeth are healthy you to stop making these eleven serious mistakes. Letting your baby go to bed with a bottle or giving them snacks that stick to their teeth are two such mistakes. Others include not monitoring them during brushing or offering them drinks constantly.
11 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Kids’ Teeth
If you are wondering whether you are making a serious mistake with your kids’ teeth read on. Here are the eleven crucial mistakes that parents make when it comes to taking care of their little ones’ pearly whites.
Letting their children brush unmonitored
Your child’s motor skills aren’t fully developed till they are at least eight years old. Letting them brush on their own before this time is one of the most common mistakes that parents make. You may have your hands full with other chores, but you need to supervise brushing time.
This is essential to ensure that your baby’s teeth are completely clean. You should make sure that every surface of your little one’s teeth are cleaned properly. Doing this everyday will prevent teeth problems such as cavities.
Letting the children snack on food that stick to their teeth
Letting your child snack on even seemingly healthy foods can be very bad news for their teeth. Foods such as raisins and bananas may seem like healthy options for your baby. These are sticky and tend to coat your baby’s teeth with concentrated sugars. Dried fruits also stick to the baby teeth making them prone to cavities.
Whole grain pasta, oatmeal and other starchy food also convert to sugar on your baby’s teeth. You don’t need to completely do away with these foods in your baby’s diet. Instead, you can try including these along with meals. Make sure your baby swishes with water after having all meals.
Giving children chewy vitamins
Vitamins are definitely good for your baby’s health. Many parents opt for the flavored chewy vitamins for their kids. However, such chewy varieties of vitamins can cause harm to your little one’s teeth. These tend to stick to the teeth and erode them. The added flavors can also cause harm to the teeth.
Residual chewy vitamins on your child’s teeth can erode the enamels and cause cavities. You can try non-chewy variety of vitamins for your children. Otherwise you should make sure that your child brushes properly every time after having them. In case brushing is not possible, ensure that they gurgle and swish with water properly.
Giving children sugary or acidic drinks throughout the day
Most parents are careful not to give their children soda and other such beverages. However, what they don’t realize is that the so called healthy juices and sports drinks are also equally harmful. These drinks are loaded with citric acid. This eats away at your baby’s teeth causing them to erode. They are also packed full of sugar.
When you are giving juices to your child through the sippy cup all day long, their teeth don’t get any respite from the sugar and citric acid attack. This causes their teeth to erode along with the occurrence of cavities. Instead of juices, give water or milk. Milk not only helps meet your baby’s hydration needs but it also helps provide calcium for stronger teeth and bones.
Not taking your baby’s teeth seriously
Many parents have the “they are just baby teeth” attitude. They think that oral care can wait till after their babies have gotten their permanent teeth. This is very wrong. Your baby’s primary teeth are very important. They play a crucial role in the proper spacing of their permanent teeth. Without proper care your baby can lose his or her baby teeth without saving space.
This can be a nightmare for your baby’s teeth. It can stop the permanent teeth from erupting. Moreover, your baby’s primary teeth play an important role in providing proper nutrition to your baby. They are also essential for proper speech development and the over all well being of your child.
Not using fluoride toothpaste
There are many parents who believe that fluoride is bad for their children. That is why they don’t use toothpaste with fluoride in it. However, this is not correct. Fluoride present in toothpastes specially formulated for children are harmless for their health. In fact, they can greatly improve the health of their teeth.
When your baby’s teeth first erupt their enamel is still in the process of maturing. Fluoride present in the toothpastes get absorbed into the maturing enamels. This in turn makes your baby’s teeth stronger. If you are worried about the side effects of fluoride, then you can get a brand that is recommended by your dentist.
Letting their child suck their fingers or pacifiers for prolonged duration
Letting your child suck on their fingers or use a pacifier for too long can be very harmful for their teeth. Your teething or older infant will enjoy sucking on something. It is a natural and normal behavior in babies. However, letting this sucking behavior continue after the age of two years is harmful for their teeth.
Prolonged sucking on fingers or pacifiers can create problems in proper tooth positioning. If your child needs to suck on something, then it is recommended to give them the pacifiers. It is much easier to stop than finger sucking when the time comes. This will ensure that your child doesn’t suffer from teeth problems.
Letting their children eat junk food all day long
Letting your children eat sweet treats or sodas all day long is the worst mistake to make for their teeth. This soon becomes a lifestyle choice for your baby and they include too much sugar and carbohydrate in their daily diet. A constant flow of sugary foods can be very bad for your child’s teeth. These erode the enamel and can cause cavity.
However, an occasional treat is always fine. Make sure that your baby brushes their teeth or at least rinse his or her mouth well after each time they have such foods. Being a smart parent and choosing the right diet for your baby is important. It not only helps maintain good dental health but also their overall health.
Letting their baby go to bed with a bottle
Getting up in the night to feed you baby can be quite a frustrating situation especially for first time parents. Even more frustrating is when your baby refuses to go to sleep at night. After a tiring day parents are often tempted to let their baby go to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. This usually relaxes the baby enough to make them fall asleep. However, this is a big mistake that many parents make.
The juice or milk from the bottle stays on your baby’s teeth for a prolonged period. This is even more the case if he or she falls asleep while feeding and wakes up in the night to resume drinking. The sugars from the milk or juice mixes with the bacteria present in your baby’s mouth to form an acid. This acid is powerful enough to eat through your baby’s dentin and enamel leading to cavities.
Over a long period of time this can give rise to severe pain in your baby’s mouth. This is known as “bottle mouth syndrome” and can lead to very expensive repair costs. Even though this condition is not very common these days it is still quite prevalent in babies across the world.
Following only what is recommended by the insurance companies
There are many parents who only do what is paid for by their insurance company for their children’s dental insurance. It is difficult for them to comprehend that the insurance company doesn’t have their child’s best interests in mind. However, the fact remains that insurance companies’ main motive is to earn profit. They also provide you and your child with the benefits, but the primary aim is to make money on the contract.
Parents who only get what is covered in their child’s dental insurance plans often find themselves having to shell out more in repairs. It is okay for parents to consider utilizing the benefits offered in their child’s dental insurance policy. However, you also need to realize that certain treatments and procedures are necessary even if they are not covered in your plan.
Putting off the first dentist visit till late
Parents often put off scheduling their children’s first visit to the dentist till quite late. Ideally a baby’s first dental appointment should come soon after his or her first tooth erupts. In any case it should not be later than their first birthday. A timely appointment with the dentist is also educational for the parents.
They can understand the basics of proper oral hygiene practices for their baby. They can also get the right guidance on the proper diet that they should follow for their baby to ensure they have good strong teeth. Make sure to book your baby’s first dental visit in time so that you can also learn how to prepare your child for a lifetime of healthy and strong teeth.
Common mistakes that parents make with their kids’ teeth can cause them lasting orthodontics problems. Not scheduling the first dentist appointments to letting them brush unsupervised are all mistakes that can harm your baby’s pearly whites. You also need to watch the food that you give your baby. Certain foods that appear healthy can also wreak havoc on your baby’s teeth. Juices with citric acid and sugar in excess quantities can also damage your little one’s teeth. Don’t think that the baby teeth are any less important than the permanent ones. Healthy primary teeth are essential for the proper development of your baby’s permanent teeth. Unhealthy teeth can also cause great pain and discomfort to your little one. Improper oral hygiene is also essential for the overall health of your baby. Make sure to consult your dentist and schedule your child’s bi-annual visit to avoid any problems later on.