tooth & teeth alike

in honour of dental awareness month & livi's first tooth, davith & a few of his little friends went to a free dental screening this week that ottawa public health was putting on to educate parents on appropriate dental hygiene for kids age 0-5.  i must admit, i had no idea up to this point what 'appropriate dental hygiene' was for a toddler or a baby for that matter.  well i was schooled! here are some of the fun facts & cool little tips/strong advice that they gave us:

did you know...
  • plaque grows in the baby's mouth even before the first tooth erupts
  • baby teeth are not just practice teeth: they are important for eating, talking, smiling & holding a place for healthy adult teeth
  • begin flossing once a day when your child has teeth that are touching
  • do not put your baby's soother or spoon in your mouth; this will pass bacteria that cause cavities
  • you should no use any kind of toothpaste {even flouride free} until the age of 3 when your child can spit it out.  using it before then will only develop bad habits for the future.  for children under 3, just use water with toothbrush or a wet facecloth to clean teeth & gums.
  • as soon as teeth appear, you should brush twice a day, but brushing before bed is the most important as bacteria has longer to fester through the night
  • if you can't brush, rinse your mouth with water, eat a piece of cheese {which has sugar busting enzymes} or chew a piece of sugar free gum
  • juice is a BIG no, no.  it does not have the fibre that fruit does & is basically just a tall glass of sugar.
  • limit sweets or sugary foods to special occasions and only serve them at mealtime.  the increase flow of saliva during a meal helps wash away & dilute sugars.
  • choose snack that are nutritious & unsweetened.  healthy foods are good for both your dental & general health
  • continue to help your child brush until the age of 8
  • give your baby water to drink in a plastic cup when he or she can sit up alone
  • only give children water or milk to drink
  • your baby's first visit to the dentist should be around the age of 3, unless you see brown or white spots during your monthly cavity check {just flip baby' lips to look at gums & teeth once monthly}
  • the best way to brush your child teeth is to lay them on a bed or couch with their head in your lap facing up at you, turn a two minute timer on & brush using the correct technique {back & forth on tops, circles on the outside, flick outwards on the inside}.  make it a fun, bonding moment by singing songs {like 'one little, two little, three little sugar bugs..." or 'you wake up in the morning & it a quarter to 8, you brush your teeth...'}

these pretty much sum it up...
and this health minute is brought to you by grover

this could be taking it a little far... maybe try brushing your hair?!

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