Dental health is a topic that is so important. Being a dental hygienist, part of my job is educating my patients and the public about the importance of our mouths! From the time we are being made in the womb, our teeth can be affected! Don’t believe me?
Did you know there are adults walking around with stains on their teeth from when they were born because their MOTHERS took an antibiotic while pregnant that gave them “ tetracycline stains.”
Did you know that mothers used to lose a tooth for every child they had? Due to periodontal disease from the changes in their hormones.
Did you also know mothers who nurse need extra vitamins and minerals to help their teeth because our babies suck all the calcium out from our teeth as well?
These are all evidence based facts that I was lucky enough to study while I was in hygiene school. It’s a topic that doesn’t get as much importance when we are thinking about our health and our children’s health.
Many parents don’t know that we should start brushing/cleansing with a wet rag our babies teeth from the moment one pops out. How many of you know that the second a tooth comes out, we should be taking our child to the dentist? Majority of us won’t take our children in until two/three years of age, which is too late for some children’s teeth.
Here are some tips to help your children’s teeth stay nice and healthy from a dental professional:
- From the moment a tooth comes out, cleanse your baby’s mouth after a bottle with a rag. Warm water and a rag will help the child get ready for a brush in their mouths
- NEVER put a baby to sleep with milk in a bottle/sippy cup. Both have a lot of sugar that can cause issues for a child.
- For my children, NO SUGARY drinks! My children don’t get juice unless they’re at a party. I’m THAT mom.
- A healthy diet does wonders. Limit CANDY/ sticky snacks! My children also don’t get candy at the doctor. Sorry, that’s just where I stand on it. One candy a day, even on Halloween.
- Help your children brush their teeth until they can do it themselves. Even then, check to make sure they got every surface. Two minutes in the morning. Two minutes at night.
- FLOSS THOSE TEETH! They sell little closets for kids that will help them make this a habit.
- Take your child for check ups every six months! A cleaning, X-rays, and exam from a dentist is the only way to know for sure the health of your child’s mouth.
- As a medical professional, I’ve seen the benefits of using fluoride. Varnish, rinse, and tooth paste are all tools we use to give your children “extra vitamins” for their teeth. (EVIDENCE BASED/CLINICAL STUDIES support this statement and it’s where I stand on it). I also RESPECT YOUR DECISION as the parent of my patient to not dispense fluoride to your child if you see fit.
- Baby teeth matter. They have a smaller enamel depth to work with and a cavity can rip through a baby tooth quicker than an adults and effect the pulp. This is where the pain kicks in and children miss school due to this.
- If your child has trauma to their mouths, bring them in for an X-ray. The more information you have, the better!
We are here to help. Hygienist are the front line of preventive care. We love questions and if we don’t know, you better believe we will find you evidence based articles to help you with your descision. We are here for you and your children. As a mom of three boys, I know it’s hard to get them to brush and floss, but make it a game and have fun with it!
Let’s stop the “fear” of going to the dentist and let’s make it an amazing experience for all involved!