It’s World Oral Health Day. The theme this year is “Say aah, Think Mouth, Think Health. Your mouth is a mirror to your body and reflects your general health and well-being.
Avoid risk factors, adopt good oral hygiene habits and have regular dental check-ups to help protect your mouth and body.
A healthy mouth and a healthy body go hand in hand. Maintaining a healthy mouth is crucial to help keep it functioning correctly and for maintaining overall health and quality of life.
‘Say Ahh: Think Mouth, Think Health’ empowers you to keep a healthy mouth and helps you maintain your general health and well-being.
It’s never too early or too late to start looking after your mouth; your body will thank you. This is why in celebration of world oral health day, LagosMums interviewed Dr Yemi Adediran, an orthodontist, and asked a few questions that mums should know concerning their children’s oral health.
Q. At what age should my child start seeing the dentist?
A. All children should see the dentist by the age of 1.
Q. Why do baby teeth matter since they eventually fall out?
A. Baby teeth serve several purposes, apart from aesthetics they also serve as space maintainers for the adult teeth coming in after them. Therefore loss of baby teeth before they are due to fall out naturally can lead to space loss and insufficient space for the permanent teeth
Q. How do I best clean baby teeth? Is toothpaste needed?
A. Toothpaste and a soft brush is needed
Q. What kind of toothpaste should children use?
A. Children should use low fluoride toothpaste.
Q. How do we teach children to brush correctly?
A. A demonstration by your dentist will be helpful. Also modelling by the parent is a good way to teach. A child however does not have the manual dexterity to brush adequately before the age of 7-8 years and will require assistance
Q. It’s quite a task to get children to brush once in a day, imagine having to make them brush twice a day. Why do kids have to brush twice daily?
A. Brushing is done last thing at night to get rid of any food accumulated in the mouth over the course of the day. It is also done in the morning AFTER breakfast to remove any food as well.
Q. Is flossing important?
A. Yes it is. When the teeth begin to fit tightly together you can floss for your child.
Q. What exactly does my child’s oral health assessment mean and how can I be of help in improving my child’s oral health.
A. To improve your child’s oral health you should:
- ensure regular brushing habits
- visit to the dentist every 6months
- Limit intake of sweet sticky foods/snacks and not snacking in between meals
- ensure brushing after consuming food and sweets
Q. How often should I schedule a dentist appointment for my child?
A. Every 6 months
Now you see mums, Oral health is much more than a nice smile.
Oral diseases can impact every aspect of life, from personal relationships and self-confidence to school to work to even enjoying food.
Parents should look after their children’s oral health and motivate them to care for their teeth and gums as they grow older.