Every parent wants the best for their kids. Whether it's a good education, or the lead role at a community play, you want to make sure your child gets the best there is to offer. The same attention should also be put into their oral hygiene.

Healthy teeth are not only good for an attractive smile, but the overall health of your child. An unchecked tooth decay can lead to more devastating health conditions. It will be a shame, if something as avoidable as a cavity formation ends up as something worse.

So, to ensure you are on top of the oral hygiene, do practice the following.

1.       Periodic visits to the dentist

A question most parents often ask is, how early can my child start seeing the dentist? According Dr Michael Montalbano, Jnr., practitioner at Tiger Smile Dental, it is never too early to visit. "Many parents think their child can visit only when they start showing teeth, but that's not so." In fact, pregnant women are advised to visit the doctor so they can check for pregnant gingivitis- a dangerous condition for expecting mothers and their babies.

When you take your child to the dentist, they will have their teeth and gums checked to ensure everything is fine. It will also help them get used to the dentist's office early.

2.       Teach them early

Let them know the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age. This means teaching them to brush their teeth twice a day, cutting the intake of sweets such as hard or sticky candy. Soda and fizzy drinks also contribute to wearing out the enamel, so you'll want to limit those as well.

Let them start early to floss their teeth after meals and brush before bed at night. Some children's stories about the dentist encourage positive associations from the on-set. Some good examples include "The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist", "The Crocodile & the Dentist", "Show me Your Smile" and so on.

3.       Equip them with the right tools

It is important to equip your children with the right tools so they can keep their teeth clean every day. This means giving them the right size and strength of toothbrush. You can allow them choose their favourite colour because, using attractive toothbrushes have been known to foster brushing habits among children.

On some occasions, join them in brushing; make it an interesting activity. Remember to tell them to brush in an up-down motion (not sideways). The tongue is also an important part of the oral cavity and should be cleaned as well. No late-night sweets before bed.

4.       Consider dental treatments when necessary

If you notice you child is in need of dental care, don't hesitate to take them to a dentist immediately. It doesn't have to be an emergency situation, you can take your child to a dentist for teeth braces, fillings, dental sealants and so on. It is better when they are performed on time.

While this may pose an unexpected expenditure, it will provide them with a good dental foundation as the grow older. Their teeth will be better for it. After all, they will only have one set of permanent teeth, it's in their best interest to help them keep it safe.

Do you have any questions about your child's dentition? Ask your dentist.

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