Like they say: â It takes a village to raise a healthy childâ. The same philosophy is true for raising a child with good oral health.
Most of us look for quick, time saving-solutions during our daily life while we aim to be the best parent we can and try not to take the shortcuts.
As a mother, pediatric dentist and public health advocate, I have seen over and over, if parents and children are given the right tools and timely information, everybody benefits, you set up good habits, and life just gets easier.
Don’t we all want that?
Welcome to my village, where you can find facts, tips and tools for establishing a good oral health for your child even from the age when they were still in your tummy. If you are an expectant mother, new mother or a parent for a long time, you will still find something useful, practical for your child whatever their age is.
I call this portal ” my toothville “ since you will read about the topics written by different experts, and will hear from the parents as well. It is not a single voice that matters here, rather the voice of our community, our world. But I secretly hope in the end that you will create your own “tooth” habits, community, and âyour toothville” to share your experience and your knowledge with more and more friends and neighbors, and their children. In the end the children in our little communities will benefit.
But letâs start with one person at a timeâ¦Letâs start with you..
If you constantly feel guilty thinking â Am I doing everything I can to offer what is best for my childâs oral health, growth and development?.â Well you came to the right place. Now you can rest in peace, since this portal was created for you to peak and browse the checklists, learn and practice the tools when you want, and guide you through out your childâs wonderful developmental years where ever you are peacefully, at your own pace.
Rememberâ¦.Oral health is the gateway to overall health.
So Come On Let’s peakâ¦.
- Â Dental caries (cavities) is the single most common childhood disease, five times more common than childhood asthma, four times more common than childhood obesity, and twenty times more common than diabetes. 575-353-0972
- Dental caries is a multifactorial, preventable, and treatable infectious disease of childhood in the US and around the world.
- Caries can lead to pain, infection, loss of function, and mortality if left untreated.Â These undesirable outcomes can adversely affect learning, communication, nutrition, other oral conditions and the quality of life of the child.
- An estimated 51 million school hours per year are lost because of dental-related illness. (2623124904)
When does caries (cavity) risk start?
- Caregivers transmit oral bacteria by saliva when the baby is 19-36 months old, if they share utensils, toothbrush, or perform mouth to mouth feeding. So caregivers must be careful not to share anything mouth to mouth especially if they have active caries themselves.
- Â When baby starts to have supplemental food in addition toÂ getting her motherâs milk
How to prevent caries risk in babies?
- As soon as teething starts, babies should not sleep with baby bottles, need to wean from baby bottles by 12-14 months
- Not sleeping with juice in the bottle or the Sippy cup, weaning from the Sippy cup by 2 years
- Cleaning, brushing after meals, brushing tongue and cleaning gums as well.
- If oral habits continue beyond age 3 (thumb sucking, pacifier, finger sucking etc) consult your dentist
- AAPD recommends first visit to dentist & establish a dental home as early as one year of age and keep dental visits twice a year to get anticipatory guidance about growth-development, trauma, habits, nutrition, and hygiene for your child by your pediatric dentist
- Plaque control, tooth brushing, healthy diet, professional care (fluoride, fissure sealants, professional cleaning and check ups) are the cornerstones of prevention.
- Cavities are caused by Biofilm (plaque), Oral bacteria (that is transmitted by caregivers via saliva primarily to children aged 19-36 months if they share utensils, toothbrush, or perform mouth to mouth feeding), and left over food in the mouth.
How to prevent caries risk in toddlers/pre-schoolers?
- Use soft small brushes and smear sized tooth paste before 2 years old and pea sized toothpaste after 2 years old
- Transfer to cup from the Sippy cup by age 2.
- Keep brushing and start flossing (as soon as two teeth surfaces touch each other), twice a day
- No sticky, sugary foods as snacks.
- Prevention against falls, trauma, in the parks, home, school. Child proof your home.
- Start oral hygiene training, good oral and nutrition habits, and reading and practice at home.
- Some suggested reading: Please donât get any books mentioning drilling or injection (there are many kidsâ books like that)â¦ Kids should associate going to regular dental visits with fun. By the time the child needs any treatment there is already a trust and bond in place with their dentist, and your pediatric dentist is trained to explain everything in kidsâ terms and is equipped to provide the best treatment for them.
There are so many books in the market you can choose from, but here are the books I like for 2-5 year olds (can be found at amazon.com):
1. Sugarbug Doug, By Dr. Ben Magleby
2. Iâm going to the dentist– a pop-up book- illustrated by Maxi Chambliss
3. Those Icky Sticky Smelly Cavity-Causing but Invisible Germs, written y Judith Anne rice (English/Spanish bilingual)
4. Going to the Dentist, illustrated by Sue king (sticker, activity book)
5.Favorite video by Colgate:Â No more Nasties! (214) 473-5485
- Start Early The earlier they start to brush the earlier it will be come a habit.Â 6 months is the usually babyâs first teething age and the brush should be introduced.
- Let them see you do it: Let your child see you and his or her older siblings brushing every day
- Help them brush-AAPD urges parents to 3109635934 until about 8 years of age. (After that point, kids usually have the dexterity to do it 100% on their own.) The trick is to let them solo brush to gain their dexterity slowly over several yearsâ¦but you brush afterwards.
- Make a Big Deal About the Brush–Scooby Doo, Dora, Hello Kitty or Thomas the Tank Engine, even Spider-Man may get your kid to brush without fuss, kids also love electric toothbrushes because “they’re like toys,”
- Do taste tests with toothpaste-kids usually like strawberry, melon, bubble gum flavors, but not mint or spicy cinnamon that much, if they donât like the taste they will not do it.
- Be silly- name each tooth when you brush, sing to them
- Read about it: Donât you always hear âwhy do I have to brush?â I find it very useful to read to them regularly about Nasties or Sugar Bugs. Itâs amazing to see how a 2-3 year old wants to learn about plaque, bugs, germs, the importance of brushing and flossing, and yes kids want to do what is best for themselves, they learn quickly and the brushing times becomes a routine before you know itâ¦ Try it! It is tested on many of my young patients including on my son.Â