The first place children learn about healthy oral hygiene habits is at home. The theme of World Oral Health Day this year is “Say aah, Act on Mouth Health”. This encourages oral health professionals to be ambassadors for good oral health and teach their patients how good oral care contributes to overall health and well-being.
As a result, Dr. Amy Shumbusho who is an orthodontist shared her dental health story as a child and how parents can help with their children’s oral health.
No fillings please, I’m only a kid!
The importance of cleaning my teeth was drummed into me at a very young age, no matter how much I moaned and fidgeted (which I did, every single time) my mother always made sure I’d cleaned my teeth thoroughly – and thank goodness she did!
I was the lucky one, some of my friends needed their first fillings at 10 years old, and nowadays we hear of children as young as 7 requiring fillings and astoundingly children who require them in their baby teeth. So how has it come to this?
The mass production of processed fast foods, a huge selection of sweets and fizzy energy drinks available has definitely had an impact. Our children can so readily find these tooth-rotting foods it can often be difficult to stop them. Do we then ban pocket money altogether? Maybe we need to focus on cleaning the teeth and emphasize that they shouldn’t eat so many sugary foods.
As my own mother painstakingly sat down every morning and every night with not just me but my two other siblings, who were as equally displeased at having their teeth meticulously cleaned, we need to do the same with our children.
When they grow older it becomes second nature, so start their routine from the first tooth, they will thank you when they grow up.
Below are top tips for cleaning your children’s teeth
1. Make sure they brush their teeth twice a day after breakfast and dinner.
2. Supervise them when they’re brushing, even when their old enough to do it themselves pop your head around the door to make sure they are doing a good enough job!
3. Brush for at least two minutes using circular movements concentrating on each tooth – try counting
4. Buy a fun toothbrush. You’ll find lots of gimmicky brushes with their favourite action hero or Barbie. Make it fun!
5. Fluoride – ensure you use a low fluoride paste when they are very young and increase the fluoride content as they get older.
6. Children’s toothpaste doesn’t have to be mint flavoured they may prefer a tropical or strawberry flavour.
7. Use a fluoride mouthwash to strengthen the enamel on their teeth.
The Importance of Child Dentistry
It is recommended that a dental visit should occur within six months after the presence of the first tooth or by a child’s first birthday. It is important to establish a dental home for a child. This is because early oral examination aids in the detection of the early stages of tooth decay. Early detection is essential to maintain oral health, modify aberrant habits and treat as simply as possible.
Kid’s dentistry, also known as paediatric dentistry, is the speciality of dentistry involving oral care for children from birth through adolescence. This discipline focuses on growth and development, causes and prevention of disease, child psychology and management and all aspects of the highly-specialised paediatric restorative techniques and modalities.
At Smile360, we emphasise the establishment of trust and confidence of children with our dentists. This manifests itself in special office designs in our kid’s zone, different communication styles and an emphasis on teaching preventative dental habits to children in an effort to make dental visits enjoyable.
We place special importance in preventing tooth decay. This is because we know that poor oral health care in children can lead to impaired school performance and poor social relationships. We give advice on how to make teeth strong; the importance of developing healthy eating habits and other ways to prevent diseases from occurring.
Contact us today to make an appointment with our Dental specialists.
Call us – +234 8181 360 000, 08181360444.
For more on oral health, read this interview with Dr Yemi Adediran