One area I am often asked about is how to keep up good oral care when the child is either in teething pain or is going through a phase. I thought I would share some of the information that I have provided in my book to give some reassuring advice and, hopefully, some useful tips.
It’s not always straightforward when it comes to brushing your child’s teeth. When they are teething it can be too painful to do. Other times they may just not want it done, they may want to do it themselves or they may develop a fear of the activity. Whatever the issue there are always things you can try to resolve them:
•Try brushing together or have them watch you brush.
•Try making up brushing your teeth songs e.g. this is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth, this is the way we brush our teeth, every single morning.
•Some toothbrushes have flashing lights with well-known characters on them. The lights flash for the two minutes they should be brushing for. Check the age range on these though as some may be too big for your child’s mouth.
•Electric toothbrushes are also available on the market. The vibrations may make the activity much more fun – my son loves getting our electric brushes and turning them on!
•If teething is the issue and they are in pain just try and wash with a cloth and your finger, or if it’s too much just leave it for that day. Don’t let brushing become a horrible experience otherwise this will resonate with them after the teething has stopped.
•Try and make brushing fun and don’t put too much pressure on them. They will pick up on this and won’t understand why you are so frustrated over the situation.
•Give them a brush in the bath to incorporate it into a ‘fun’ time.
•Buy some stickers and give them out as rewards once their teeth are all cleaned.
•If you are really worried about their oral health and you cannot brush at all, visit a dentist to get their teeth checked, to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems and to get more advice.
Today in the UK tooth decay is one of the most common causes of hospital admissions in children. The main reason for this decay?… Sugar. By reducing the amount of sugar in your child’s diet, offering water as a drink instead of juice and brushing twice a day you will be ensuring the health of your little one’s teeth and their future adult set.
The NHS website states:
‘It is estimated that around one in three adults in England have tooth decay and a survey of five year old children carried out in 2012 found that more than one in four had some degree of tooth decay.’
By starting oral care early, you will be preventing your child experiencing future pain, infections, fillings or extractions. Evidence shows that good care of the milk teeth leads to healthy adult teeth.
For more information on the teething development, you can purchase my book Your Teething Baby: From one parent to another on Amazon.