Tag Archives: Parenting

6 Steps to Ensure Your Baby’s Good Oral Health

Kid at dentist

After the birth of your baby, you may be most focused on their eating habits and development. But to help your child obtain the ultimate oral health later in life, you need to begin their preventative care early on. The following are critical steps that will allow you to ensure good oral health for your child.

Begin to Clean Before You See Teeth

Your job as a parent is important and involves critical duties such as creating a healthy environment for your child to grow up in. To help start your child’s life off right, you want to gradually introduce oral care such as teeth cleaning before their pearly whites have begun to come in. Getting them used to dental hygiene by gently cleaning off their gums once they are done with feedings sets a good routine. Using a warm, damp cloth, wrap the material around your finger. They also make rubber devices that adhere onto your finger to use for wiping down excess milk and food.

Schedule an Exam

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Dental Association recommend a child gets their initial exam by the age of one. Family dentistry provides personalized care for both children and adults. Comprehensive exams detect if your child has tooth decay or cavities. Your family dentist will also be able to determine if your child needs braces or other devices such as a mouth guard as their mouth grows and develops. When you take excellent care of your child’s teeth when they’re young, you’ll form good habits for the coming years.

Take Extra Care

Some parents think that a child’s baby teeth are unimportant because they aren’t their permanent set. But a child’s primary set are critical as they reserve space for the final set to come in. Baby teeth also help her child talk and eat food as they grow. If they’re not properly looked after, your tiny tot could be prone to gingivitis, tooth decay and infections.

Be on the Lookout

Signs your child may have a cavity includes pain, discomfort and tooth discoloration. You can do your part to reduce your child’s chances of cavities by skipping bottle feeding when they go to bed. Juice is another contributing factor to cavities as the liquid contains high volumes of sugar. Plan on filling your infant’s bottle with water, formula or breast milk.

Practice After Meal Hygiene

If you’re looking to clean your child’s mouth after liquid meals, offer your baby a bottle or cup of water to drink. This method helps formula and milk wash away easily. As your child becomes used to the motions of a toothbrush, gently clean any residue off their teeth and gums. This is especially important as you introduce solid foods to your baby.

Introducing Toothpaste

At the age of two, you’ll probably be ready to introduce a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to your child’s brushing regimen. Start with a small amount and guide them to brush at least twice per day. This should be done in the morning when they clean their face and at the end of the day when you’re getting ready for bed. To encourage this daily ritual and make it fun, let your child choose their favorite flavored toothpaste. You’ll also find brushes that come in their favorite animated character. You can also practice oral habits together as a family. This allows your child the chance to stay on task and learn the proper brushing technique from an experienced adult. If you’re unsure, enlist the help of your dental care provider.

With your baby’s teeth soon making an appearance, it’s time to help them chart a course to the best oral health care. Although the initial set of baby teeth are in for just a short period of time before the tooth fairy collects them, staying on track with the above tips prepares them for when their permanent teeth come in for good.

How To Help Your Child To Sleep In Their First Bed

When does a child get old enough to have a proper bed? It depends. They grow out of the crib stage pretty quickly sometimes, but they need to be around three or four for a real bed. Part of the problem here is that children can be reluctant to try new things such as a new bed. They’ll want to go back in the crib, or even sleep with you instead. Here’s how you can make your child as comfortable as possible in their new bed.

Child

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Correct Bed Size
It might be tempting to buy a regular adult sized single for your child. While this bed will likely last them into the teenage years, your child may not feel very comfortable alone in such a large bed. Going from a somewhat snug crib bed to this won’t help them adjust. You need to get a bed that is fit for a child.

It may end up a little big for them, but they’ll likely grow into it. You’ll probably have to buy them a new bed in a couple of years, but it’ll be worth the cost if you get them sleeping alone soundly at this age.

A Good Mattress
A poor quality mattress just isn’t going to help them adjust either. You need to invest in a decent mattress that’ll help promote good posture and spine alignment. Memory foam mattresses are quite popular because of their comfort and how good they are for the neck and spine. You can find them in child sizes now too, so they’ll fit your child’s bed just fine.

Reassurance
Even if you get them sleeping on their own, bumps and creaks in the night can play on a child’s active imagination. We’ve all been scared of the monsters under the bed at some point in our lives haven’t we? Your child may be the same.

Verbal reassurance may help them, but sometimes you should sit with them until they fall asleep. Don’t make much of a habit of this though. They may come to depend on having you there before they can fall asleep. When that happens, you may have ruined their chances of sleeping alone for a year or so.

Night Light & Stuffed Toy
If your child has a problem with being afraid of the dark, you’ll need to find something that helps them get over that fear enough to sleep. A simple night light can do the job. Just plug it into the wall and it’ll emit a low light. You can even get ones on a timer, so they’ll turn off after a certain time and save you electricity.

A stuffed toy can also help too. It helps the child feel like they’re not alone in bed anymore. It’s the loneliness factor that can contribute to a child being afraid of sleeping alone. It makes their imagination play up. Companionship from the toy can help reduce this.

Hopefully, this is all you need to get your child sleeping in their first bed soundly. After that, all you’ll have to worry about is getting them to stick to bedtime.