Updated: May 26
This is not one of my favorite topics to blog about, but I think it is necessary based on my experience with my kids, that I highlight the importance of helping your child to practice good oral hygiene, especially starting at a younger age.
Growing up I was told as kids to brush my teeth twice a day, in the morning and the evening. Yes, I did it, but I didn't really understand the significance of doing it. Fast forward to today and having to teach my kids the same thing, I admit, I didn't really give it much thought either. However, after having made numerous trips to the dentist with my kids, I have learned quite a bit of new oral hygiene practices that never really crossed my mind at all, neither did I hear it growing up.
I have two boys, a 5-year old(almost 6) and a 4-year-old. My second son, I breastfed for a longer time than my first. Now that they are older, I have had 2 quite different and rather interesting experiences with their teeth. My eldest never had cavities before and my youngest is given me a surprise at every turn. I thought I had it properly managed and all figured out up until now. I am however grateful for the knowledge that I am receiving now to help them take better care of their permanent teeth.
Here are a few of my tips that I have discovered along the way. I do hope that it will also help you to do the same for your kids as well.
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Have you also found any good dental hygiene tips that you could share? Please feel free to add to my list, or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I would be happy to help you!
“Practicing good oral hygiene in kids is so important but often times neglected.”
1. START AT AN EARLY AGE
I missed this part and it’s because I didn’t know and that’s ok. With diaper changing, burping, feeding, and everything else that comes with taking care of a baby, I didn’t really think about my baby's dental oral hygiene.
I did however learn a tip from my mother in law who I watched since birth use a soft cloth to clean my eldest son's teeth as a baby after bath time, both in the mornings and at night.
An alternative to the soft cloth is to also use a small finger toothbrush, that can be used to clean their gums. It's relatively easy to use and helps to start the process of good oral hygiene practices.
Once teeth start to erupt through the gum, which is around the time that teething begins, you can transition to other dental products for kids.
2. TOOTH DECAY FROM BREAST AND BOTTLE FEEDING
This was something I was not aware of as a new mom. Breastfeeding in particular, especially exclusive breastfeeding or bottle-feeding can cause tooth decay. Breast milk when not removed can sit on the teeth and lead to early tooth decay in kids.
When teeth are badly decayed, it sometimes has to be removed before the permanent teeth are ready to come out.
This is why practicing good oral hygiene at an early age is very important especially in exclusive breastfeeding around the clock or bottle feeding.