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12 Ways to keep your child's smile sparkling

By Faeza
18 March 2016

teenzone

March 20th marks World Oral Health Day – focused on the improvement of oral health worldwide. This year the theme is “‘It all starts here. Healthy mouth. Healthy body”. We all know the saying “start them young”, this is so true when it comes to teaching your kids oral hygiene from a young age. Taking care of their teeth and gums is critical and it’s never too late to start focusing on your kid’s oral health and making those small changes in improving their oral hygiene as kids that have good brushing behaviour now, establishes healthy habits for life.

Stats show that over 90%* of the world’s population will suffer some form of dental disease in their lifetime. Additionally, severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15 to 20%** of middle-aged adults. These are certainly alarming numbers, but many of these can easily be treated or even prevented with a good oral care routine from a young age.

Here are some tips and tricks to help keep your young ones smile sparkling and hygienic:

  1. Start children early – as soon as the teeth erupt, dental care should start. Many babies experience dental decay because of the sugary content of the bottle so teach them from a young age the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth.
  2. Get into the routine of brushing their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. Getting your kids to brush twice a day can be difficult until the ages of 5 - 8 because they lack the motor skills to perform the activity without difficulty.
  3. Get the right size toothbrush – a long handle may be needed if they are a little reluctant to open their mouths wide.
  4. Sing a song; tell a story or make tooth brushing fun.
  5. When they are younger you can brush their teeth by standing behind them or having them sit on your lap. As they get older they will naturally want to brush themselves – just make sure that they are brushing properly. So make sure that you know the right technique of tooth brushing because your child will follow your example.
  6. Let them stand on a step or stool to face the mirror and do not forget to teach them to brush their tongue as well as it is a popular hiding place for bacteria
  7. Get the right flavour of toothpaste – it can go a long way to getting their buy-in
  8. When age appropriate, flossing once a day is necessary. Flossing isn’t there to replace brushing your teeth - remember it’s a complementary medium.
  9. Alcohol-free mouthwash can be used from the age 6 years old. This should form part of their oral care routine – it can’t replace brushing and flossing but it can flush out any additional bacteria.
  10. Visit the dentist at least once a year for a dental check-up and professional clean
  11. It is suggested that you should change your children’s toothbrush every 3-6 months
  12. Avoid sugary foods and drinks as they can contribute to the decay of the teeth. A health balanced diet is recommended.

Oral care is a lifetime commitment and requires effort, by taking the above mentioned tips into consideration and including them into your daily oral routines, you can reduce their chances of getting oral diseases. Philips Oral Health has developed a wide range of Sonicare products specifically designed with kids in mid to assist consumers with their oral care and achieving and maintaining their sparkling smiles.