World Oral Health Day is a globally recognised event that aims to empower people worldwide with the knowledge, tools and confidence to secure good oral health.
Every day, children and adults alike, suffer dental diseases that are easily avoided. Most oral health issues are preventable and can be effectively treated in the early stages.
Learning how to brush your teeth well is a life skill that will help shape your little one’s future. If you can get lay the basics down now, your child is less likely to suffer from tooth pain and dental decay.
Read on for more handy tips to keep your child’s oral health in tip-top shape:
Let’s start at the beginning
Bright-eyed and fresh-faced, your beautiful newborn is a bundle of joy. You’d take all the broken nights’ sleep just to see your little one grow into the amazing person they were born to be. Then you have to start thinking about routines.
It may surprise you but your baby’s oral hygiene matters from day 1 of life. The moment they start breast or formula feeding, milky sugars swill around their mouths. Some of these sugars will stick to their gums, and if left, they can start to build bacterial acids that do far more harm than good.
A simple moist, soft cloth or dental wipe will gently remove milk debris left on your little one’s gums. Establishing this routine, is essential, as baby teeth need good foundations to grow too.
Inevitably your baby is going to have to face the dreaded teething stage. From grizzly tears to sore, red gums, they may experience some pain.
Your little one’s first tooth appearing is one of those exciting milestones. Prepare for toothy smiles and candid pics!
Introducing a soft-bristled toothbrush will help your little one get used to the sensation of brushing. It will also deal with more than leftover milk! As your tot starts weaning, tiny bits of food will get lodged in their gum bed and teeth. Like the milky sugars, food debris can cause bacteria to build up, leading to more significant problems further down the road.
For my little girl, handing her toothbrush to her during bathtime built the idea of brushing regularly into her routine. As more teeth appeared, we started adding a tiny smear of toothpaste to her brush to strengthen her growing pearly whites.
Breaking away from the baby to the toddler stage is quite the moment. Your little one will be more aware of their surroundings, be able to express themselves and communicate on a whole other level.
Toothbrushing may not be on your toddler’s priority list. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get them involved:
- Make it fun: songs, stories and dances with actions make your little one’s world go round. So incorporate it into their toothbrushing routine! You can get creative or find some inspiring videos online to get you started.
- Let them choose: we’re not saying go wild, but offering your toddler a small selection of toothbrushes to choose from will let them feel more invested in looking after their teeth.
- Share the experience: do you know who your little one looks up to the most? You’ve guessed it; it’s you! Letting them brush your , to them mirroring your actions ensures you share the toothbrushing experience together.
- Favourite toy: Your little one loves to play. Having a special toothbrush for their favourite toy will help them see how vital toothbrushing is.
When your child has two teeth together, you can start flossing alongside brushing. Now don’t get me wrong; the idea of giving my little girl an infinite piece of floss is definitely not appealing.
Enter her favourite toothbrush, which just so happens to be a FlossBrush. All the flossing action comes from the longer bristles, which get in between the teeth, while the short ones take care of the surface areas.
Twenty milk teeth make up your little one’s complete set of gnashers. After all the troubled nights of teething and toddler tantrums, you have made it to the childhood stage. Life as we know it will never be the same.
Children love rewards, love to learn (usually) and love bonding time with their loved ones. So capitalise on that. Brushing their teeth for two minutes morning and night is not only the recommended time, but it is proven to have the best cleaning results.
Make your child’s toothbrushing journey an essential part of their routine. You’ll thank us later!