Dental Hygiene

October 9, 2018, Shirley Blake

Many moons ago, I graduated as a Dental Assistant. Since it is Dental Hygiene Month, I wanted to share tips from my personal experiences.

I am very thankful to have had access to dental care when I was expecting my little ones. As babies, both of my children did not take to the pacifier well. They did drink from bottles and were introduced to sip cups around 6 months old. Removing the bottle was a tough process for my first-born son because we chose to gradually remove it. The nighttime bottle was the most challenging habit to break. With my second born, we went cold-turkey and removed all the bottles one day, and it was successful. Check with your pediatrician or dentist regarding time and process of weaning the pacifier and bottle.

After the pacifier/bottle period, it is beneficial to eat healthy food. I have always been a working mom, and for a time I relied on quick and easy snacks like Goldfish crackers or the Welch’s fruit snacks they sell at Costco. During that time, I took my son to a dental exam, and there were a few concerns. When children eat those snacks and do not floss their back molars, food hangs out in-between those teeth. Over time, it can cause tooth decay. Luckily, our area puts a lot of emphasis on a child’s oral health, and they gave me plenty of information on how tooth decay can be prevented. For example, my son’s school has the county health department come do dental checks. I think this is awesome because children and parents can become aware of any oral health needs.

I no longer buy those types of snacks, and I prep on weekends to make healthy foods and snacks. My kids like veggies, some fruit (high on sugar), nuts, cheese, and boiled eggs. I don’t buy juice, so my kids drink a lot of water. During the holidays, I let them have a candy or two and then give the rest away. We do have the occasional donut, but I try to be mindful of sugar.

Lack of dental health can be problematic for other reasons too, and it is always nice to know that many things can be prevented. We have many online resources. I strongly-recommend using websites that are research-based or have expert contributors.

What is your family teeth brushing routine? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook post.