On this special day for children worldwide, if you know the tune of the popular school rhyme ‘Row, row, row your boat 2ce, gently on the sea, etc. Then you can sing this oral hygiene song to mark the 2017 children’s day.
‘Brush, Brush, Brush Your Teeth, 2X
Brush it twice a day!
Up and Down, Left and Right.
Brush it in and out.’
This famous rhyme emphasises the importance of brushing one’s teeth twice daily. The direction of the tooth brushing technique to use and the fact that both the inside and outside of the teeth should be brushed. Maintaining good oral hygiene is an everyday affair. Proper tooth brushing must be done within 2 to 3 minutes to prevent tooth decay, mouth odour and gum disease.
IT IS EASIER TO TRAIN A CHILD THAN TO CORRECT AN ADULT
Have you any child around you? Read this article to them and help them achieve what is written therein towards a better oral health as we mark the children’s day.
You don’t need to wait until your child clocks a year old with few teeth before you start paying attention to his or her mouth, you need to lay the foundation for a good long lasting oral health and general health; right from when you start breastfeeding your child till when he or she becomes independent of brushing alone without supervision at about 10 years
It is therefore important to start developing routines that will help protect your child’s from preventable tooth decay and other preventable oral health problems. So let’s get the business started!
1) Commence good oral hygiene habits ASAP
Wash your hand with clean water, get a water-soaked gauze pad or damp wash cloth and gently clean your baby’s gums and newly erupting first teeth after each episode of breastfeeding.
2) Brush the teeth with love and care
As your baby’s teeth increases in number, brush them gently with a small, soft-textured toothbrush using a thin smear of age-appropriate (with inscription that suggest ‘children”) fluoride containing toothpaste.
3) Be their first teacher
As soon as your child turns 3 years, you can start to TEACH him or her proper brushing techniques using a pea-sized amount of fluoride containing children toothpaste. Gently brushing the teeth again and again twice daily, singing dental songs for them and making it interesting and not burden-some. As soon as he or she clocks about 6 years old, he/she should be developing the dexterity and willingness to do it alone. But, never allow her do it alone without thorough SUPERVISION till about 10 years. If the parent should fail at this stage, then parent should be ready for repercussion of their negligence
4) What about the water?
Nigeria does not have protocols for community water fluoridation program, thus, the supply of water that serves our home or community contains no fluoride except for some mountainous areas of the country that have excess fluoride in their water .We therefore recommend that you discuss the various fluoride supplement options with your dentist. Keep in mind that toothpastes and various foods may also contain fluoride.
5) Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Don’t put your child go to sleep with any pacifier in their mouth or bottle filled with anything but water. When you expose the teeth frequently to sugar-containing fluids (including formula and breast milk) for a long time, there will be dramatic increase in the potential for tooth decay.
6) Avoid refined Sugar
Understand that if your child consume refined sugars in the form of biscuits, cake, sweets, and soft drinks; the actions of the tooth decay-causing-bacteria present in the mouth will produce some acids in the mouth and it will take almost 30 minutes before saliva can neutralize the acidic environment that created. Thus, a sugary drink or snack every hour can mean your child’s mouth is constantly acidic thereby increasing the chances for tooth decay to commence or progress if it has started.
Instead give your children fruits and nuts with water and sometimes sugar-free gum and nutrients rich in calcium phosphorus and proteins.
7) Keep a date with your dentist
It is advisable that your child see a dentist as he or she clocks one year old and then subsequent regular visits thereafter. Your dentist will teach you all you need to know on how to prevent dental problems, check for tooth decay in the milk teeth so as to take precautionary measures and set a positive precedent for future visits.
8) Prevent tooth decay
Use of dental sealants to seal off potential areas of the teeth and fluoride additional applications to strengthen and protect your child’s teeth. Sealants can prevent food and food debris from getting stuck in the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth and topical fluoride in the form of gel or paste will strengthen the teeth against decay. READ ALSO FOODS THAT CAN INFLUENCE YOUR ORAL HEALTH
9) Keep calm
One could develop anxiety or fear about visiting a dentist, but try not to convey these feelings to your child. This is very important for emotional well-being of the child. Try as much as possible to discuss any fears your child might have about dental visits, in the course of your discussion do not put any new fears into his/her head. Don’t mention words such as “hurt, injection, needle, remove your teeth or pain” as it raises her level of discomfort and fear.
10) Childproof Your Home
Studies have shown that children under age 7 years sustain a lot of the dental injuries to their milk (baby) teeth playing in close proximity to home furniture, concrete floors and also during sport activities. So ensure safety precautions like use of wedges for high beds, mouth guards in those prone to fall, use of carpet with underlay or foams during sport, and seat belts in cars.
ENJOY THE CHILDREN’S DAY AND HAVE FUN