The Importance of Adequate Health Care When Raising a Child

Teaching your child good oral care at a young age is an investment that will pay lifelong dividends.You can start the process by setting a good example:taking good care of your own teeth and gums sends a message that oral health is something to be valued.
How should I start?Should I clean my babies’ teeth?As soon as the first tooth appears use a soft, clean cloth to wipe your baby’s teeth and gums after feeding.Then when the teeth have erupted further into the mouth start to use a small,soft bristled toothbrush to clean the tooth after eating.Use only a ‘pea-sized’ amount of toothpaste as young children tend to swallow most of the toothpaste.
You should also be very aware that tooth decay can occur when a baby is given a bottle filled with milk,formula or fruit juice at bedtime or for long periods during the day.Prolonged exposure to the sugar in these liquids can cause teeth to discolour and decay.To prevent this,clean your child’s teeth after each feeding and at bedtime give a bottle filled only with water.
It is very important to brush before bed!If you don’t get rid of the bacteria and sugar that cause cavities,they have all night to do harm.While you are awake,saliva helps keep the mouth clean.When you are asleep,there is less saliva produced to clean the mouth.For this reason it is important to brush before bedtime.Also,it is very important not to rinse after brushing and this tip is available for grown-ups as well!
When will it be safe to let them clean their teeth on their own?
Young children do not have the manual dexterity to brush properly.Your child will need your supervision and help brushing until he or she is 8-10 years old to ensure a thorough brushing has been done.
How can I help maintain good oral health?Visit your dentist regularly.After initial examination your dentist will advise you when to return for examination.It is important that you attend at these recommended intervals as tooth decay in children can advance very rapidly and it is important to maintain regular check ups.
Use children’s toothpaste with fluoride in it.The ammount of toothpaste applied to the toothbrush should be ‘pea-sized’ only.
Monitor your child’s diet and reduce the amount of sugar consumed and avoid in between meal snacks.
Children’s toothpaste should be used in accordance with the age of your child.

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