Thanks to coronavirus, we’re living through a critical time in the health of our country. We must all do what we can to limit the spread of infection and reduce our dependence on the NHS – prioritising your children’s teeth cleaning routine can help with this. Here’s what to do…
Model Ideal Oral Hygiene Behaviours
Kids tend to model their behaviors on those of their parents. For that reason, it is essential to show them how you clean your teeth so that they can copy you when they clean theirs.
Be sure to model all the best techniques and advice. Brush for at least two minutes, and angle your toothbrush at 45 degrees to the teeth to maximize plaque removal. Show your kids how to methodically clean all parts on their mouth by doing things in order. Emphasize that they need to clean all the surfaces of their teeth – not just the ones that they can see in the mirror.
Also, try to do what you can to make cleaning teeth fun for kids. Scrubbing for two minutes is a long time for most children. Try humming a nursery rhyme to pass the time.
Show Them How To Floss
Flossing is essential during COVID-19 because it removes the bacteria that can build up in parts of the mouth kids can’t reach with their regular toothbrush. Parents must show them the proper technique. It is one of the best ways to protect children’s teeth.
When it comes to flossing, you have several options. First, you can show your children how to use a threader (if they’re old enough). Teach them to drag the floss through the spaces between their teeth side to side. Don’t go up and down, as this can damage the tooth bed and open up opportunities for infection.
Second, you can use an electric water-flosser. These devices shoot jets of cleaning fluid into the gaps between the teeth at high speed, removing any gunk in the process.
Finally, you might want to introduce them to interdental brushes. These miniature, toothpick-shaped items covered in bristles are highly effective at removing bacteria and plaque between children’s teeth. They can keep your kids’ mouths healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Start Oral Hygiene Habits Early
Kids naturally resist cleaning their teeth, and for reasons that are easy to understand. Brushing a strong-tasting substance around in your mouth is unpleasant – not to mention tedious.
The trick for parents here is to get their kids used to the idea from an early age. Children that grow up with the expectation that they have to brush their teeth in the morning and at night tend to develop better lifelong oral health routines. Getting them onboard early prevents them from getting a severe infection and having to travel out to the dentist during coronavirus.
You can try to introduce oral hygiene habits to your child after one year of age. Once they’re off breast milk or formula and their baby teeth come through, they’re at a higher risk of cavities. At first, your child will resist, but all you need to do is remain persistent. Eventually, they’ll come around to the idea. And ultimately, it will feel like second nature for them.
Make Eating Healthy A Part Of Their Daily Routine
Most children’s teeth issues arise from what they eat. The reason for this comes down to the type of bacteria that certain foods foster. Children who eat nothing but beans and whole grains throughout the coronavirus pandemic will likely avoid any issues with their teeth. But those who eat sugary breakfast cereals, chocolate and cake, are much more likely to wind up with problems.
Sugary and refined starchy foods like white bread, create harm children’s teeth in two ways. First, they foster the growth of bacteria that produce acids that dissolve the tooth enamel. And second, they tend to be “sticky,” meaning that they hang around in the mouth longer, giving time for bacteria to multiply.
Kids love sweet foods, but you can easily make substitutes that they will hardly notice. Swap out sugary drinks for sugar-free alternatives. Buy a granulated sweetener for things like breakfast cereal. And use baking methods that use whole grain flours and don’t rely on refined sugar as a sweetener.
So, in conclusion…
COVID-19 and the need for social distancing have made it more critical than ever to look after your children’s teeth. Focus on being a role model and focus on developing good habits during the coronavirus pandemic. Be persistent and explain to your kids why oral hygiene is so important in a time like this.
If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to give us a call.