The author talks about the importance of oral hygiene for children as well as adults.
As a child we all have certain rules imposed by our parents which we want to break. It is only when we grow up do we realize how important these rules were, especially when it comes to our health.
I remember, my mum never allowed us to watch T.V. if we were to watch a movie. This rule applied more so after we were back from watching a movie. She always said, “You have already watched a 3 hour long movie, your eyes need rest.” This practice helped us control our screen time.
Another habit that she ensured we inculcated no matter what happened, was brushing our teeth twice a day. She even went to the extent of making us brush our teeth if we ate something really sweet in quantity that wasn’t permissible by her.
There were days when she allowed us to have milk and rinse our mouths because we were too lazy to brush. I however, am so grateful that she was after our lives when it came to taking care of our eating habits and personal hygiene.
As a first-time mum, I strived to indoctrinate the same habits that were passed on by my mum. To a certain extent, I was successful too. My 4 years plus toddler didn’t even like chocolates, cakes or ice-creams until he was almost 2 years old. He would in fact refuse them all when offered. Then came a time when he had to leave his nest and venture out to experience the ways of the world. I enrolled him in a playschool where he tasted chocolates and chips for the first time. Thus, began the series of relishing sinful treats every now and then.
If you have ever met a 4 year plus toddler, you would know that their energy levels can beat the energy levels of a group of four. Thanks to his never-ending stunts and play tricks, he broke a tooth. On visiting the dentist, we got to know the tooth had been fractured and had to be extracted. My world almost came crashing down. I in my entire life, thankfully had to visit a dentist for just a general cleaning routine and here I had my four-year-old with a fractured tooth.
Luckily, the dentist was kind enough to help us accept the current situation and made us understand that it wasn’t a complicated procedure. He also reiterated that it was a simple and painless procedure. The tooth was extracted after a shot of local anaesthesia and indeed the entire procedure was painless. I had imagined my son howling and crying. However, all he did was some moaning and complaining.
Here are a few things that I learnt from my visit to the dentist.
Processed Food Are Bad for Your Teeth
We all know the repercussions of processed food on our health but they are equally harmful for our teeth. As parents we tend to pack biscuits, ready made cake, chips in our kids’ lunchboxes often. These foods on being consumed daily, hamper the teeth strength and enamel.
Sugar is your worst enemy
Sugar is harmful when not consumed in moderation. Any form of added sugar is harmful. Little did I know that a small tetra pack of flavoured soy milk and 2 biscuits had enough sugar to affect my son’s teeth. Excess sugar tends to wear off the enamel and hence leading to tooth decay. We have to take care of the contents of the food we consume. Added sugar, glucose, fructose are all forms of sugar which will have its impact on your body.
Have a good brushing routine.
We all show our children rhymes about bathing and brushing their teeth. Are we really teaching them the right way to do it? There are techniques involved in brushing. The amount of toothpaste you use also matters. At the dentist’s clinic you would always have images and charts that teach you how to brush your teeth, what kind of bristles are needed depending on your age. All these things help you in your oral hygiene.
A visit to a Dentist is a Must!!
Dentists are doctors. They however are not the kind of doctors we go to only when we are sick. They are the kind of doctors we need to visit every 6 months to ensure our gum and tooth are in a good condition. A visit to a dentist is equally important for a toddler/child as it is for an adult. Children, through their growing years tend to put a lot of things in their mouth that can damage their gums, tooth, spacing between their tooth. Hence a routine check up with the dentist is a must.
I am a strong believer of everything happening for a reason. This incident has help me curb the sugar intake of my child. I also found, not one but two great dentists that I can visit when needed. When someone said, ‘health is wealth’, they were right! Healthy ‘you’ would mean, more energy and stamina to earn wealth. Unhealthy ‘you’ would mean, having to spend more on making yourself healthy again!
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