Importance Of Dental Hygiene In Kids
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Teeth are a very small part of our body and often the last thing we worry about. We spent thousands on hair care and skin care but very few among us pay the same attention to their dental products. In the case of babies, they mostly get their first teeth between 6-10 months of age while some may even get it after their first birthday. Many a time we avoid brushing it since the baby has a few teeth but dentists advise that you should clean the baby’s teeth since their very first tooth arrives.
Recently I experienced a parent’s biggest nightmare of toothache (half-broken painful teeth of baby) and trust me it was more stressful than my whole pregnancy. She was in constant pain and she even refused to drink or eat anything. We opted for an emergency dental surgery on her.
Let me start from the beginning with my kid who is 2 years now but from birth she was very fond of breast milk and would drink at least 5-7 times at night. And by the time she was 1.5 years old, she suffered from carries in her front teeth and her teeth looked brown and they were decaying from the sides.
And one day one of her teeth broke into half leaving all the nerves exposed and she was in excruciating pain. She couldn’t eat or drink by herself so we opted for feeding her liquids with a dropper. The doctor gave her painkillers and asked her to wait for 1 week as the nerves will desensitize by then. But seeing her in this much pain and not being able to eat or drink anything we ultimately went to another doctor and he treated her by filling her half-broken tooth.
And after 2 hours of her surgery, she sat with us and ate her first meal post-surgery and didn’t touch the breast milk after that. Let me tell you that before this incident, she rarely used to eat anything. She will only drink breast milk 5-10 times a day.
And those 3-4 days taught me the importance of maintaining dental hygiene.
So I wanted to discuss the baby's dental health with you all here so you don’t have to go through the same experience.
What are the main reasons for tooth decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay also known as Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is caused when sugary foods are in contact with your baby's teeth for a prolonged time and it will erode the tooth enamel. Often babies keep bottles in their mouth for a very long period and that constant contact with milk erodes the tooth enamel.
Thumb sucking isn’t a major concern until your child’s permanent teeth come. At this point, thumb sucking might begin to affect the roof of the mouth (palate) or how the teeth line up. The risk of dental problems arises due to the factor of how often, how long and how intensely your child sucks on his or her thumb. But anyhow one shouldn’t encourage such habits and try to encourage children to stop such habits.
Heredity: Many diseases are transferred from one generation to another and dental problems are also one of them. If your family has a history of dental problems you need to consult a good dentist before any signs of the disease so that you can save the beautiful smile of your baby.
Sugary foods: This is not even for children but for adults. Munching on a lot of sugary foods and snacks will lead to dental problems. The majority of kids relish chocolates, candies, and sugary treats and these will eventually lead to bad dental health. Parents need to make sure kids are brushing their teeth after every meal and rinsing their mouths with water after eating sugary foods to avoid such problems.
Poor nutrition: Not having a nutritious meal will make your body suffer from many diseases and dental problems can be one of them. Kids often ignore the foods they don’t like and these will lead to having an unbalanced meal.
A diet poor in calcium or vitamin C can lead to major dental issues like scurvy, the sensation of hot & cold, receding gums, root infection and so on. So parents need to check on their kid's meals & Snacks and consult a good dentist for regular check-ups.
Poor dental hygiene: A proper dental hygiene routine is as mandatory as having a skincare routine. Some children may avoid brushing twice a day and that will eventually lead to having dental problems. So parents need to inculcate these healthy habits into kids from the beginning.
“For there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently.”
These lines also show us the intensity of dental pain so to avoid getting landed in such a situation we need to maintain dental hygiene for our whole family.
About The Author:
Ruchi has done MBA and apart from from her full-time job and her 2-year-old baby, she is also following her passion for writing. Her pregnancy gave her a lot of experiences to write about and with this opportunity, she wants to share her little knowledge of parenthood with the world.