National Children’s Dental Health Month With Affinity Health
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Affinity Health takes this opportunity to share some great dental hygiene tips to keep your child’s pearly whites healthy!
Looking after your child’s dental hygiene is really important for keeping your tot’s teeth and gums strong and clean. Ensuring your child learns how to properly clean their teeth and booking regular dentist appointments is crucial to keeping painful cavities and gum disease at bay.
“Sadly, by the age of just five, many children have at least one untreated decayed tooth,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health. “Cavities – also called caries – are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood and can cause pain and infections that may lead to your child suffering problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.”
Common signs your child may have a tooth cavity include:
∙ Toothache and tooth sensitivity
∙ Pain when your child eats or drinks something sweet, hot or cold
∙ Visible holes, pits, or cracks in your child’s teeth
∙ Brown, black or white staining on the surface of a tooth
∙ Pain when your child bites down
While brushing is one of the best ways to stop cavities, it must be done correctly. According to dentists, the direction of brushing really doesn’t matter (up and down, back and forth, or around in circles). What’s important is to clean each tooth thoroughly, top and bottom, inside and out – every single day.
“Some parents depend on their children to brush their own teeth, but the truth is that a child cannot brush his teeth without help until he’s about six to eight years old. So be sure to supervise or do the actual brushing if necessary,” adds Hewlett.
Five top tips by Affinity Health for looking after your child’s dental health:
- From a young age, teach your child the importance of good brushing habits. It’s recommended that you brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste – once in the morning and once in the evening – for two minutes each time. Make sure they use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spit it out rather than swallow.
- Once your child’s teeth are close enough together, you can start flossing them. This helps to get rid of any plaque or bacteria that may be harder to reach.
- Sugary foods and drinks can be awful for children’s teeth, and therefore switching to healthier snacks containing less sugar can give your child’s teeth a real boost.
- Instead of giving your child fruit juice, provide them with water instead. Drinking water can wash away any leftover sugar or food particles that are clinging to your child’s teeth, helping to keep them clean and healthy.
- Take your child for regular dental check-ups at least once a year. As part of your child’s check-up, the dentist will make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems and give you further advice on proper hygiene.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.