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Healthy Happy Days
Happy child – happy mum! We all know that! What’s more - the TV Ad world is also quite aware of what would make a mum buy a product for her kids – lots of lots of happy, smiley babies and children. Why is that? Psychologically, every mum wants to the best for her kids, so if there is something to make our children feel happy, we’d go the extra mile to get it, make it, buy it.
But I am not going to talk to you about advertising, nor about psychology. What is in the centre of my post, is the smile – and all that comes with it. It’s about taking care of our kids’ teeth and establishing a healthy routine and happy tooth brushing mornings for the whole family.
The first thing is to make it a game. Kids love fun games, so make sure you are all enjoying the process of brushing their teeth. When kids are old enough, start explaining them why it’s so important to take good care of the teeth. If you create a story and even draw a picture, it would be easier for them to understand.
You should start brushing when the first tooth begins to show. Baby teeth usually appear at around six months, and all baby teeth should be visible by two years of age. Your child’s first adult teeth appear behind the baby teeth at about six, and the first baby teeth will start to fall around the same time.
Your child should brush their teeth twice a day. The morning brush can be before or after breakfast, but tooth brushing should always be the last thing a child does before bed. This also helps them develop a routine – brushing teeth becomes associated with bedtime.
Kids often have a hard time remembering to brush and floss their teeth. Using a brushing chart helps them to remember to brush and floss their teeth on a daily basis, plus it gives you a little reassurance that this important task isn't being forgotten.
Consider the differences. Children’s hands and mouths are different than adults. They need to use toothbrushes designed for children. Both adults and children should use brushes with soft, rounded bristles for gentle cleaning. Change to a new brush about every three months
Wipe infant’s teeth gently with a moist, soft cloth or gauze square. As babies grow, use a child’s toothbrush with a small, pea-sized dab of toothpaste. By age 2 or 3 begin to teach your child to brush. You will still need to brush where they miss. Dentists and hygienists often advise children to use a gentle, short, back and forth motion to remove plaque. When children are older they can switch to this method.
A question of chemicals. No question at all if you consider natural, organic toothpaste. I’ve been kindly sent a few toothpastes from Green People to try out. My daughters enjoys so much the gentle minty Children's Spearmint & Aloe Vera Toothpaste. It’s a natural children's toothpaste formulated for delicate teeth & gums – hence my preferred choice. My daughter seems to enjoy it very much, and I am not worrying about the potential chemicals of other toothpastes. Well, this one is safe even if swallowed by babies or children, as it’s 100% natural, free from SLS and fluoride. The claim is that it removes plaque and reduces bacterial re-growth. With added Vitamin C, which is a strong protective antioxidant, it helps straighten the gums and prevent from bleeding. There is also no hydrocarbon or aluminium contamination it’s probably the purest children's toothpaste nature can offer. And the best thing for the children – they can chose between the minty and mandarin flavour.
Here are a few of tips to get your toddler brushing:
Parents should start dental visits by age 1, or after the appearance of the first baby tooth. The dentist will check for proper oral and facial development.
For infants, parents should clean their mouths regularly with a very soft, infant toothbrush, or simply use a wash cloth and warm water.
Children older than six months will need to take fluoride supplements if their drinking water does not contain enough fluoride, which is usually the case with well water. Fluoride supplementation in infants has been shown to reduce tooth decay by as much as 50%.
Use a soft, moistened gauze pad to clean the gums of infants after each meal. Start using a soft baby brush after the first tooth comes in. This way, he grows accustomed to someone feeling around in his mouth, which will make brushing easier and make dental exams less traumatic.
Babies should be weaned from the bottle by 12-14 months of age.
Show tooth brushing as fun and not a chore. Allow your kids to brush your teeth. Laugh a lot. Next, let them brush their own teeth, and then end with you brushing their teeth.
Have your child practice tooth brushing on their favorite doll or super hero.
Have your child practice spitting out toothpaste by spitting out a few mouthfuls of water. Have them try to hit something in the sink. (It's important to not swallow flouridated toothpaste, as it can cause fluorosis, which will leave spots on their teeth. Children over age 8 are at less risk for this.)
Use a mild-flavored, fluoride-free, toothpaste alternative at first.
For truly resistant kids, make tooth brushing seem like a fun game that they're missing out on. Enthusiasm is contagious.
Luckily for me, Green People sent me a couple of adult toothpastes as well, so our whole family enjoys the tooth-brushing with this natural organic toothpastes that support the teeth and gums. I tried the Fennel one, and also the Minty Cool – both are great, and the Fennel toothpaste is preferable for the periods on homeopathic treatment. It contains organic cloves, cinnamon, myrrh & propolis, so no more gum problems or mouth ulcers for our family.
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