This lockdown for a lot of kids has meant access to cookies, pastries, candy and all things sweet throughout the day.
Since the schedules has changed for children, the usual routine of brushing twice and flossing may get disrupted, as they aren't spending blocks of time doing activities or going to school, and are also staying up late.
This is the time for parents to up their dental care game and ensure poor eating habits that may lead to dental issues.
So parents, please be alert! This is also the time for you to be extra vigilant.
Here are a few tips by Dr Premila Naidu, Founder and Director, Small Bites, to ensure good oral hygiene during the lockdown period:
Keep up with oral hygiene: Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is important. Although your kid may have been good about following this routine during the school year, you may need to remind them more often during this 'summer break'! Brushing and flossing will help get rid of destructive bacteria.
Healthy breakfast is the key: It is no secret that healthy breakfast makes a healthy body! But, studies show that good breakfast choices can lead to better dental health as well! Certain bacteria that is left behind on your teeth can produce acids that may lead to tooth decay. So, it is important to include whole grains, lots of fruit and avoid sticky carbohydrates in your kid's breakfast as these are less likely to promote tooth decay. Sweets in between meals also should be avoided as they encourage acid build-up in their mouths.
Watch the soda intake: It is no surprise that kids love sugary drinks and soda. As a parent, it is important to realise the importance of child's primary teeth that serve as placeholders for the permanent ones. So, limiting their intake of lemonade, soda, and juice is important as carbonated beverages and acidic juices can wear down tooth enamel. Adding a slice of lemon or other infused fruit to water will not only help sweeten the deal, but will also make it healthier.
Teach the right oral care techniques: Brushing and flossing are essential and important to keep teeth and gums healthy. It is equally important to do it the right way and hence children should be taught the correct techniques to do so. It is recommended to hold the toothbrush at a slight angle-towards the area where your tooth meets your gum and brush in small, gentle circles instead of vigorously moving the toothbrush back and forth. This ensures better cleaning and also keeps teeth safe from over-brushing. It also ensures that there is no bleeding or damage to the gums. Just like brushing, using dental floss also requires a lot of attention and care. As we have time in our hands now, it's good to start teaching the little ones about proper brushing. How to reach the back teeth and how to get all the surfaces clean and the Golden 2 Minutes Brushing Habit.
Make it fun: An oral care routine can get quite boring for children. To make things interesting, you can give them products that are specially designed to make brushing sessions are more fun. Flavoured toothpaste and multi-coloured toothbrushes in different shapes can entice children to brush every day. Battery-operated toothbrushes are also a great way to make brushing an interesting activity for children. Also ensure the use of fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits in their mouth comfortably.
Replace toothbrushes frequently: Toothbrushes can become breeding houses for many kinds of bacteria. It is thus vital to replace their toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months once. Children are more susceptible to infections than us adults and hence, it is essential to change the dental equipment at regular intervals. Furthermore, using toothbrushes with soft bristles is equally important to keep them at it too! (Agency)