When we think about oral/dental health care, the only thing that come in our mind is good breath and clean teeth with healthy gums. To be honest, oral and dental care is much more than that. Clean and healthy oral cavity is the first step to a good overall health of a person. We eat everything with our mouth and chew using teeth, so, a good oral care is the first and the most important step towards healthy and good eating and that’s why it leads to better over all health of our body. Oral care is equally important for our baby and toddler as it is for us. In this article, we will be discussing all about oral/dental health care for kids and grown-up children along with tips about encouraging them to do so. So Lovely parents, let’s have a look & learn together, all about oral/dental hygiene of our baby and toddler…
WHAT IS ORAL CAVITY: The mouth/oral cavity included cheeks, lips, teeth, gums and front 2/3rd part of tongue, floor of mouth under the tongue and hard bony roof above it. As we eat and drink everything from our oral cavity and chew our food by teeth, it is very crucial to take care of proper cleaning and hygiene. Good oral hygiene is the first step to over all good health.
MILK TEETH: Baby milk teeth can erupt at anytime after 3-4 months of age. Very rarely, but some babies do born with a tooth or two. Before the tiny tooth erupts, our little babies do show some symptoms of teething and excessive chewing of teether or anything that is in their hands and excessive dribbling of saliva are the most common symptoms apart from all other discomforts. As our kids reach the age of three, they have their primary 20 teeth.
IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY ORAL CAVITY, TEETH & GUMS FOR OUR LITTLE ONES:
- Oral and dental hygiene is really important to maintain proper health of our children as they chew everything from their tiny teeth.
- Proper Oral/dental hygiene prevents tooth decay.
- Prevent tooth loss (babies who lose their milk teeth very early when they were baby or toddler, have high chances of having mature teeth in an arbitrary manner which doesn’t look good at all.
- Prevents your child from having a bad breath.
- Uncleaned oral cavity and teeth leads to many diseases like infections, fever and pain.
- Good and healthy gums and teeth give your child a cutie and beautiful smile.
- Save money as you don’t need to take your little one to dentist again and again.
HOW TO CLEAN ORAL CAVITY AND TEETH OF A TODDLER:
Toothless little Babies: When babies started showing the signs of teething and even before that as well (https://kiddieversity.com/teething-and-babies/),clean the oral cavity of your beautiful toothless babies by moisten a soft clean cloth with water and then wipe the gums and food particles left inside.
Baby & Toddler with Teeth: Use soft bristled baby tooth brush with a tiny pea sized fluoride baby toothpaste on it. In case of toddlers, you can use regular fluoride toothpaste that adults use but make sure to rinse properly afterwards.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN THE ORAL CAVITY/TEETH OF MY LITTLE ONE:
- Brush twice daily with tiny pea size baby toothpaste (with fluoride) on brush.
- Rinse with water, while teaching your toddlers, show them how to spit water, ask them to take some water in their mouth, jiggle it around and then spit it out. Show your little ones how to do it by doing it yourself.
PREVENTIVE MEASURE: Following are the Preventive measure we should follow to keep our little one’s oral cavity, teeth and gums healthy.
- Clean teeth twice a day.
- Rinse after every meal and drink.
- Avoid Sugary drinks.
- Avoid too much chocolates and sweeties.
- If your baby is using teethers to ease the itching and discomfort of teething symptoms, then make sure to sterilize these teethers quite often.
- Not only keeping oral cavity clean is all that we need, washing hands before and after food is also very important.
- Use Fluoride Tooth Paste.
- Brush for about 3 minutes, i.e.,1 and a half minute for upper and same for lower teeth.
WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST: Ideally, we and our little ones should see dentist once after every 6 months. If you have any worry about teething or your little one is having cavity or tooth decay then you must see a doctor as in worst cases of cavity, root canal is needed and it is really painful if cavity reaches to the level of nerve endings. This is when the tooth pain is disastrous.
TIP TO TEACH AND ENCOURAGE OUR LITTLE ONE FOR ORAL AND DENTAL CLEANING:
3) Sing Rhymes like “this is the way we brush our teeth so early in the morning” or “Brush Brush Brush your teeth, brush them every day….” Or make your own rhyme or interesting stories related to oral hygiene and brushing, using your child’s favourite toys and characters like teddies and dolls.
5) Involve your child in Pretend play in following manners
a) Give your child a teddy or doll or his own favourite toy and a pretend tooth brush and tooth paste, and then talk to him/her like “Lets Brush Our Teddy’s teeth to keep him happy and healthy or tell other benefits in the same way.
b) Play Dentist and patient by becoming a patient of your little one or by making your little one a patient you yourself a dentist and then talk about brushing teeth and hygiene.
c) Take a doll or teddy to your little dentist (your child), and discuss the importance of brushing and some simple problems like pain, bleeding and tooth decays in childish language.
So lovely parents, these are some important and basic things that we all should know about oral hygiene and cleaning along with some useful tips about encouraging and teaching our baby and toddler about it. If you have taught your little one in a different way, then please share your ideas in comments section as well. It will be lovely to read your experiences and ideas as well.