What To Do When Grandparent Caregivers Don't Brush Your Child's Teeth

If your elderly parents keep your child while you work, you may expect them to protect your child from anything that can harm them. But if your parents refuse to brush your little one's teeth after serving sugar snacks and meals, it can cause many problems, including tooth decay and bad breath. Here are things you might do to keep your child's teeth healthy without causing friction with their family caregivers.

Pack Healthy Snacks For Your Child

One of the things you can do is pack healthy carrots and celery for your child before you leave your home. If your elderly parents tend to serve jelly sandwiches, cookies and other sweet snacks, instruct them to serve your snacks instead. Crunchy foods like the veggies previously mentioned help remove plaque from between your child's teeth. Plaque can create harmful acids on your child's teeth that erode the minerals found inside their tooth enamel. Your child's teeth become weak and decayed.

Crunchy foods can also encourage your child's saliva glands to make more fluids to keep their mouth moist. Saliva contains enzymes that fight odor-causing mouth bacteria and other germs. Halitosis, or bad breath, can develop in children as well as in adults. The most common areas of the mouth that harbor bacteria are between teeth, the back of the tongue and below the gumline. 

You can request that your elderly parents substitute the unhealthy snacks with the healthy foods throughout the day. 

Find Out What's Really Going On

Another thing you can do is sit down with your elderly parents and talk candidly about their inability to provide oral care to your child. You may find out why your parents refuse to provide oral care to your child. Some children react negatively when it's time to brush and floss, while others simply don't think it's necessary to do so. If these are the reasons for your child's lack of oral care, your elderly loved ones may not want to deal with the frustration of trying. 

It's also possible that your child has a dental problem that causes pain or sensitivity in their teeth and gums when they brush and floss. Some kids can develop mouth sores called canker sores that burn from stimulation. You should consult with a children's dental care specialist to find out if this is the case. A dentist can examine your little one's mouth and provide treatment if necessary.

For more information about pediatric oral care or help with your current dilemma, contact a dentist today.