There are a number of reasons why introducing a fixed and manageable teeth-cleaning routine at a young age is so important for dental healthcare. From the moment their teeth start to appear, it’s vital that parents take responsibility early on for their child’s dental healthcare and plan a first trip to the dentist accordingly. Of course, it’s not always as straightforward as giving your two-year old a toothbrush and letting them get on with it, so here are some tips on how to effectively introduce a dental healthcare routine for your child and inspire them to look after their teeth properly in the future.
The first thing you need to do is keep an eye on when the first milk tooth appears, which is usually when your child is around 6 to 8 months old, sometimes earlier. When this happens, you need to start brushing your child’s teeth with a fluoride teeth cleaning solution. It’s important to use fluoride paste as this helps to prevent tooth decay.
As your child continues to grow, you can start to introduce the concept of brushing teeth independently. However, it’s vital that you always assist your child during the teeth cleaning procedure. You can start to use toothpaste that contains at least 1,000ppm fluoride. Children between the ages of three and six should start with a tiny blob of toothpaste containing around 1350-1500ppm fluoride. Your dentist can provide you with more information regarding the amount of fluoride needed to have a significant effect on your child’s teeth.
The usual number of times a child should brush their teeth in a day is twice; once in the morning and again before bed. Each brush should last around two minutes and incorporate the mentioned amount of toothpaste. It’s important to make sure your child doesn’t lick or eat the toothpaste from the tube, as the minty flavour can become an unwanted delicacy. Once the brush is over, encourage them to spit out any excess toothpaste and try to avoid rinsing with too much water, as this can prevent the fluoride from working effectively.
Once your child reaches seven or eight years, you can start to let them brush independently. You should only leave them to brush on their own if you are satisfied with how they are getting along, so stay with them for as long as it takes to make sure they are aware of the standard brushing method. You can introduce rewards or benefits if a child is struggling to stick to the dental healthcare routine you have introduced.
Your first visit to the dentist should occur as soon as you notice the first milk tooth appear. This gives your child the opportunity to get used to your local dentist and meet them in person. Any health problems or build-up of tooth decay can be quickly diagnosed by a dentist, so having them check over your child’s teeth and gums is essential at an early stage. Dentists are often disliked by young children, so try and make the trip as enjoyable as possible for your child so that they don’t worry as much about the trip next time around. You could always coordinate your own appointment with your child’s thus allowing them the opportunity to see how Mummy has it done before it’s their turn. Any child-friendly dental healthcare practice will be willing to ensure the appointment goes as smoothly as possible so if this way works for you, ask your Dentist if it’s possible. You can also pretend play with your child in the run up to the dentist visit and can play at looking inside their mouth to look at their teeth to get them used to knowing what will be asked or expected of them when the time comes around!
When we look at our kids, it’s hard to imagine them having any worries or stresses. All they are responsible for is trying to finish their dinner and playing nicely on the playground. But children can have very serious anxieties and worries and it is our duties as parents to show them the healthiest way to deal with these situations by giving them proper tools for them to use. When kids are worried or stressed out, it limits their ability to learn and grow, as cited in this article: http://www.schoolguide.co.uk/blog/10-proven-ways-to-help-your-child-do-well-at-school#off. They also might respond in very undesirable behavior such as a meltdown or tantrum. Below are great ways to teach your child how to handle stress and how to relax.
1 – Make a “Chill Out” Sensory Bottle
This is not only a great tool to help your child decompress but they will have a lot of fun helping you make one as well. Your little one can use this bottle as a way to chill out by just escaping with it by finding little treasures in their bottle. Here is a tutorial on how to make one of your own. http://mysmallpotatoes.com/2012/10/25/weekly-kids-co-op-ocean-chill-out-bottles-because-nothing-calms-the-soul-like-time-on-the-beach/
2 – Listen to relaxing music
There have been numerous studies that show that listening to relaxing music helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure. The next time you can sense a tantrum looming not far away or they need to decompose after a packed day, put music on and engage them by asking them how it makes them feel. You can try multiple types of music such as a lullaby or classical music. By showing them this, you are giving them a tool to help manage their stress and you might find that they will seek out their own MP3 player in times of need.
3 – Kids Yoga
Introducing yoga early on can help your child channel their energy and concentration when they are learning to do yoga poses. This will help them release that extra energy and can even help them relax better before going to bed. With simple yoga poses, kids will find them fun and have a kick out of doing the poses that look silly to them. Here are some great poses you and your kids can do together: http://www.parents.com/fun/sports/exercise/yoga-for-better-behavior/?rb=Y#page=9
4 – Exercise
Getting your kids out to play, walk or run is a great way to get kids to relax. They can channel that extra energy by doing what they love to do most – playing. Sometimes sitting around can only magnify any stresses they may have.
5 – Cuddle Time
From time to time all it takes to lower a child’s stresses is a good cuddle from a parent, stuffed animal or family pet. This simple activity has proven to lower blood pressure and decrease stress hormones. Encourage this activity whenever they are upset.
6 – Stretch
By stretching, you are helping your muscles release any built up tension. There are several easy stretches to learn and are very easy to do for kids. Teaching them to stretch, not just before a physical activity can give them another tool on how to deal with stress.
Congratulations! You’re pregnant!
As soon as the line appears on the stick, if not before for some people, the desire to absorb as much information as possible begins. All of us want to be the best parents we can possibly be, but it’s often difficult to know what information to take on board and what to take with a pinch of salt. We’re all told not to read everything we come across and that much of the parenting process will come as second nature, but there are certain fundamentals that we often think we should know about to supplement what we’re told is innate knowledge and instinctive.
As eager as toddlers in a toy shop, we want to know exactly what is happening to our little growing baby at every moment from the moment of conception right into the toddler years and beyond. During our pregnancy, we want to know how big it is, what seed/berry/melon we can compare its size to, whether it can hear us yet and when we might be able to feel the first kicks and once born we want to know how to tell when our baby has a temperature, how to avoid nappy rash or what to do if we think our baby has colic. Usually the first place we turn to for answers to the random questions and queries we have is the internet and thankfully there is a wealth of parenting websites out there to quench such a thirst for pregnancy advice and tips.
With such a wealth of information available online it’s then sometimes difficult to know where to start and even what information we need to know. Pregnancy forums are very popular for those willing to share and know about first-hand experiences and they’re a great place to find other mums-to-be at exactly the same stage you may be at in your pregnancy. You may also be trying to conceive or want to get an idea of something specific in advance of speaking to your midwife, or perhaps you’re just wanting to find inspiration for baby names! Either way, websites aimed at parenting communities are invaluable resources and great support networks and can cover input from a variety of sources, from healthcare professionals, midwives, mummy bloggers and parents to be. Babies Base is one such website aimed at providing useful information on all aspects of pregnancy and parenting to prospective parents, parents-to-be and also the extended family who may be interested in the roles and help they can take by way of support.
Being 20 weeks pregnant myself I can often be found searching for answers to random questions in the middle of the night and the first place I look is on a pregnancy website, not least because waking my other half at 3am with a burning question that I need to turn the light on for to be able to quickly skim a pregnancy book will probably be met with a few harsh words!