Dental Care For Kids During COVID-19

2 min read

By Dr. Janani Rangaswamy, MDS-Paediatric Dentist, Growing Smiles, Bengaluru

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant delays in dental care for many families. Children whose dental problems might have been easily taken care of during their regular visits to the dentist have been postponed due to the pandemic, leading to dental issues, since teeth don’t get better on their own. The problems just get worse and need even more treatment. Many parents say the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for them to get dental care for their children. However, worry not as we have prepared a list that will help the parents in maintaining good oral hygiene of their children, during and post-pandemic.

dentist treating a kid in clinic

Why is Oral Health Important During this Pandemic?

It’s a well-known fact that a healthy mouth contributes towards good overall health. We believe that the role of oral bacteria in facilitating co-infection in COVID-19 is relevant but overlooked. Simple oral hygiene measures could help lower the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus from the mouth to the lungs and help prevent severe instances of Covid-19, as shown in a study, ‘Could there be a link between oral hygiene and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections?’ The study was published in the British Dental Association Journal.

Tooth decay/cavities are the most common diseases in children. During this COVID-19 crisis, kids have been unable to access dental clinics that help to prevent tooth decay or even to have fillings. So you must encourage your child to continue practicing good oral hygiene during this time.

Here are Few Oral Hygiene Tips During this Pandemic:

  • Brushing twice daily with age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste is a must. Monitor their brushing technique regularly as they have to reach all surfaces and crevices. Use prescribed mouth rinse if required.
  • As always, keeping their toothbrush and interdentals clean and changing them regularly is another step towards good oral hygiene. Toothbrushes can become easily contaminated by microorganisms in your mouth.
  • Maintain a balanced diet. A good diet with lots of vitamin and mineral-rich foods is ideal to optimize the immune system. Make sure the kids consume calcium-rich foods which can help to strengthen their bones and teeth. Certain vitamins help produce saliva which helps to prevent bacteria from staying on teeth.
  • Avoid sugary and junk food. As kids are mostly indoors during this pandemic they tend to binge on processed/ junk food. Consumption of these foods increases the level of acid-eroding plaque in the mouth. This drastically increases the risk of dental diseases in children.
  • Avoid snacking between meals.
  • Drinking plenty of water every day is one of the most effortless habits for preventing dental cavities in children. In general, water can flush bacteria from the mouth and prevent acid from building up on the teeth.
  • Have a teleconsultation/in-office consultation with a pediatric dentist for regular dental follow-ups.

Parenting throughout the pandemic is mostly a difficult scenario for families. And therefore, steps need to be taken to minimize any kind of problems that may arise. These few tips will help you in ensuring that your kids maintain good oral hygiene during this pandemic. Also, don’t forget to consult your pediatric dentist in case of any queries. Stay home and stay safe.

Reference:

  • British Dental Association Journal
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Dr. Janani Rangaswamy, MDS-Paediatric Dentist, Growing Smiles, Bengaluru

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