National Oral Health Month: maintaining healthy gums and teeth

As we wrap up National Oral Health Month, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss dental issues affecting our children. I had help with some stats and facts from Intercare Dental.

Tooth decay is one of the leading diseases among children under the age of five, making oral hygiene an imperative from the moment the first tooth makes a debut. I must admit, that I personally took almost two years before I started taking my son’s oral care into consideration, for selfish reasons [I have a major phobia for dentists **hides behind a toothbrush**].

It’s common for many parents to fall into the trap of assuming that it’s not important to look after baby teeth because they will eventually fall out. Tooth decay can cause severe pain, discomfort and infections. In extreme cases, it can have serious consequences for your child’s speech and jaw development.

 

Things you should be doing for healthy gums and teeth:

Babies:

  • Begin cleaning our baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth.
  • The first visit to the dentist should be before their first birthday. This is usually a short 15 minute inspection.

Young kids:

  • Brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. For children below 3 years of age, start with a small amount (the size of a rice grain)
  • Floss twice a day
  • Visit your dentist every six months

Remember to remind them not to swallow the toothpaste 🙂

Visit www.intercare.co.za for more tips and to locate the closest Inter Care Dental Centre.

 

Modern Zulu Mom

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