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World Oral Health Day: 5 Things you’re Probably Doing Wrong with Your Child’s Dental Care Routine

Dental care for children is important, but for parents, setting a consistent routine can be worthy of a gold medal. If you've been struggling, here are some things you may be doing wrong Getting your child to follow a thorough and consistent dental routine can feel like no less than a Herculean feat. And while some days may be better than others, there's no telling when oral health issues decide to rear their ugly head. If your child's dental care routine is a much-dreaded daily ritual, you're probably doing it wrong. Browse through this list of 5 common mistakes you're likely making, and turn your child's oral care routine into an effortless, fun and fuss-free affair. 1. Brushing off complaints "Too tired." "I'll do it later." "Already brushed in the morning." As exasperating as it may be to deal with them, your child's excuses to put off brushing their teeth may well be cover-ups for underlying dental problems such as cavities, gum disease and tooth decay. Such issues can cause a great deal of pain for your little one, and give rise to an inherent disinclination to brush regularly. If your child frequently complains of problems when brushing, go on and schedule a check-up with your dentist. After all, one corrective measure may be all it takes to set things right. 2. Not setting rules While nobody's asking you to play drill sergeant, maintaining a disciplined morning and night-time routine can go a long way in giving your child a healthy foundation for good oral care. Make a point of setting dedicated times for brushing; in the morning and at night. And more importantly, stick to them. Establishing a routine is your first step to putting your child's tooth brushing on autopilot. 3. Making brushing boring Let's admit it. A familiar toothbrush, the standard toothpaste and the same old nightly routine can get mundane even for the most habitual of adults, never mind kids. Mix things up in your child's dental care routine by enlivening the process. Play your child's favourite tunes as they get ready for bed, get several character-themed toothbrushes and colourful toothpastes, and give your child something new to celebrate each day. Building a positive association can lead your child to enjoy, and even look forward to brushing. 4. Not visiting the dentist often enough While new parents are particular about scheduling their baby's first pediatric appointment within a few days or weeks of birth (most often for newborn care immunisations), dental appointments are, more often than not, overlooked entirely. It's advisable to bring your child in for their first dental appointment about six months after the appearance of their first tooth. By being proactive, you can pave the way to healthy oral care for your child and allow for the early detection of dental issues. Pick a dentist or children's hospital that your child looks forward to visiting-it can be half your battle won. 5. Picking a toothpaste without fluoride Research reveals that fluoride is the best barrier against cavities. Many toothpastes on the market contain fluoride and it's worth having a conversation with your child's dentist about how to introduce fluoride into your child's dental regime. Getting your child started on good oral care in their early years can be golden to their health in the long run. After all, old habits die hard. And this one certainly ought to.

Dr. Preethi V C

Consultant - Dentist

Rainbow Children's Hospital, Banjara Hills