Oral health in Toddlers

Oral health in Toddlers

Parents should be aware of the importance of taking care of their children's oral health as early as possible Good dental hygiene from the first sign of tooth highly influences our child's dental conditions as he grows up So as much as we give full attention to our children's nutrition and intellectual development, so should we manage dental health accordingly

Oral problems and dental diseases are not only expensive to treat but are painful and often embarrassing for anyone especially kids This is one matter where the saying prevention is better than cure is fitting Here are dental topics you should be aware of as well as tips on how to help our kids have that perfect smile

Primary teeth The primary teeth starts developing even before a baby is born But without any teeth to brush yet, you should not forget to clean the gums of babies nevertheless Use a clean cloth to wipe their gums once a day

The first tooth often pops out between 6 months and the child's first birthday This can be a challenging time for your baby as the teething phase brings about pain and discomfort Your child may experience slight fever, crankiness, loss of appetite and diarrhea Give them teething toys to suck or non-sweetened rusks to chew and gnaw at You can place them on the fridge to cool them down before handing them over as the cool temperature can help ease their aching gums You can also give their gums a soft massage using your clean fingers

With the first set of teeth comes the risk of tooth decay and this is called Early Childhood Caries You should start to actively prevent this by not letting them go to sleep with a breastfeed or bottle of milk and any sweet drinks Children 12 months of age should be weaned out from breast and bottle feeding and encouraged to use a sippy cup instead  Keep in mind that sugar is the bacteria's favorite breeding ground and the more bacteria the more plaque acids which causes tooth to decay This includes lollies, foods that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks and juices Limit their intake of these as much as possible and seek healthy alternative

Oral hygiene A healthy diet must of course be complemented by good oral habits including brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist Use a toothbrush appropriate to your child which is often the one with the soft bristle and round head Teach your kids how to brush properly and to spit out Children below 18 months are advised to brush their teeth once a day after the last feeding at night Flossing can be started when your child is about 2 years old and done at least twice a week This habit keeps gums in good condition as food morsels that causes tooth decay are removed Rinse with water afterwards There are floss holders available that you can use to make the flossing easier

Fluoride is also essential in the health of the teeth so should you be concerned that the water your family is drinking may have inadequate or no supply of fluoride, let your dentist know

Thumb sucking This is a natural reflex for babies and toddlers But can nevertheless cause dental problems including crooked teeth especially if the practice continues after the permanent teeth have appeared Speech defects particularly in saying "s" and "th" sounds properly may also develop That is why you should try to end the thumb sucking and consult a dentist for advice if your child continues to do so by the time she enters school Also avoid giving unhealthy snacks

Remember that children imitate their parents' behavior so you should always observe excellent dental care to encourage them to do the same Make the sessions something to look forward to and reward them if they are able to remember to brush their teeth by themselves It is the parents duty to guarantee that children develop good habits which will prove beneficial to them as they get older

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