The future of everything is determined by the inputs of today. How well you will do tomorrow is dependent on what you are presently doing. The issue of infant oral health cannot be overemphasized. If you want the oral health of your child to take be proper, it is dependent on the measures you can put in place today.
At What Age Is Infant Oral Health Important?
Infant oral health is important right from their birth. It is the foundation you lay from that time that will determine how healthy their dental health will be. Keeping healthy oral hygiene for your child is strictly dependent on you. If the child develops a recessed gum, bad breath, or decayed tooth, it is majorly because of poor oral hygiene from the mother.
The reason why most infants suffer from chronic oral disease at a very young age is because of the build-up of bacteria while they were infants. The best time to secure or enhance your child’s smile and confidence is while they are infants. As parents or guardians, it is expected of you to know how your infant’s gum looks like. This will help you track changes when they occur. Some parents, guardians, or caregivers assume that the best time to pay close attention to their child’s oral health is when they start growing teeth.
Whether a tooth has erupted or not, it is best to clean the mouth of your child as frequently as possible. Although at this stage of their lives, they do not need a toothbrush yet, they require a mouth wash. It is at infancy that you begin to lay a healthy oral foundation for your child. Children naturally do not like discomfort. You will find them moving their faces in another direction when you try to engage them in anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Mouth washing is one of such.
Practicing healthy oral hygiene right from birth to when they start teething keeps the gum in good condition for the tooth to erupt. Keeping regular oral hygiene for your infant will help prevent bacteria or cavities from forming. As you have their gums and tongues washed, it helps erase the milk and any other food residues on their tongues and gums.
Healthy Oral Hygiene To Keep For Your Infant
There are basic oral hygiene routines that must be carried out regularly on the infant to help prevent the build-up of bacteria and germs in the mouth of the child. This routine covers even a day-old baby. To mention a few oral hygiene routines and the routine is not limited to these alone:
1. Avoid giving your child sweetened beverages
Get accustomed to serving them meals that do not contain a high level of sugar content or at best, beverages with no sugar. They get used to this lifestyle as they grow, and because sweetened meals have the capacity of causing tooth decay in infants, they will not be a victim of such.
2. Cleaning and massaging of the gums and tongue
Just as adults are advised to brush twice a day, infants are not left out of this routine. Their gums and tongue should be thoroughly cleaned with a damp cloth. Gently scrub the tongue and wipe the gum. The gums should also be massaged while you are at it. This will help them grow firm and strong to house the teeth.
3. Do not share cutlery, cups, and plates with your infant
Feeding your child with the same cutlery set as yours is unhygienic, and it is dangerous to the child. One thing you need to remember is that tooth infection is transmittable, do not put your child in a position that will expose him or her to such danger. Your child should have his or her cutlery set, cup, plate, water flask, etc. This helps to reduce their risk of suffering tooth decay or cavities.
Dangers Of Not Keeping Healthy Oral Hygiene For Your Infant.
There is always a consequence for a wrong act. Your infants stand the risk of having oral infections and diseases when you do not help them maintain healthy oral hygiene. These infections are:
1. They Stand the Risk of Suffering from Chronic Oral Inflammation and Disease
This is one of the dangers your infants may likely face as a result of poor oral hygiene. An example of oral inflammation or disease is periodic sores in the throat and gums. These usually come with severe pain, which prevents the mouth from being active like when it was in a healthy condition. The problem with this is that it keeps reoccurring, and every time it occurs, the child may find it hard to swallow or eat anything until the pain is gone.
2. Tooth Decay and Recessed Gum
This is bound to occur as long as there are no healthy oral routine measures in place for the child. The child’s teeth will turn brown, and in some cases, they will detach from the gum with severe pains. For the recessed gum, you will notice that the gum is wearing out or getting weak.
3. Inability to Socialize Due to Poor Oral Condition and Appearance
This is the resultant effect of poor oral hygiene. Due to the bad state of the gums and teeth, the child would find it difficult to socialize with his or her peers. This is one of the ways through which children develop low self-esteem. In some other cases, the child may also find it hard to smile often for fear of being mocked.
Infants are so much adorable. They are tender and so loveable that you may not want to hurt their feelings the more when you see or hear them cry. Nevertheless, their oral health is a priority and should be treated so. You do not have to wait until they grow a tooth before you can start caring for their oral health. Right at home, you can start cleaning the mouth before you contact a kid’s dentist.