As part of MAM Oral Care week, we have spoken to MAM Expert Midwife & Health Visitor Katie Hilton. Follow these tips to keep your little one’s smile in tip top condition because cavities aren’t just a problem for older children. Tooth decay affects up to 25% of children under 5 years old in the UK. As soon as there is a tooth, there is potential for a problem.
- Start dentist visits early – It is recommended to start taking your child to the dentist from around 1 year of age or after the first tooth has started to come through. Early visits to the dentist allow them to assess how your child’s teeth are coming through. Plus, you can learn how to help take care of your little one’s teeth and they can get familiar and comfortable with the dentist. To start off on the right foot, the MAM Oral Care Rabbit helps to clean and massage baby’s mouth before the first tooth.
- Supervise brushing – Young children don’t have the manual dexterity to do a really good job until age 7 or 8, so parents have to take an active involvement in their children’s oral health at least until then. The MAM Learn to brush set comes with a Training brush, with an extra-long handle to enable parents and babies to hold the brush together. The First brush allows babies to imitate adult brushing independently.
Measure toothpaste – Be careful when measuring out toothpaste to prevent your little one from accidentally ingesting fluoride toothpaste in large amounts. Parents should stick with a smear of toothpaste for kids under 2, a rice sized amount for kids aged 2-5 years and a pea sized amount for children over 5.
- Brush twice a day – Don’t skip this dental health basic. You should brush your teeth and your young child’s at least twice a day, when you wake up and before going to bed. If you have the opportunity, then it is also good to brush and floss after eating.
- Encourage flossing – As soon as the teeth are in contact with each other, flossing should become a part of your child’s dental hygiene routine. Lend a hand if your child needs help or is confused how to floss correctly.
- Skip mouthwash – Nothing substitutes for good brushing and good flossing. Mouthwash is not necessary for young children.
- Minimal sweets – Bacteria in the mouth coupled with a diet high in sugar creates the perfect setting for acid to form and create tooth decay, so limit how often and how much your little one snacks or sips on sugary food and drinks.
Posted in: Teething & Hygiene