Do you know that in 2011, the National Monitoring and Evaluation Dental Survey conducted by DOH have shown that 98% of children between 2 years old and 6 years old have dental caries which results in missed days at school?
The numbers are frightening! When I was a Dental Hygienist intern in San Juan City, I was exposed to kids a lot more because we focused on educating the kids and their parents about the importance of oral health care. A lot of kids, as early as 3 years old, are suffering from Early Childhood Caries or ECC.
Since then, it made me want to be a Pediatric Dentist in the future. I believe that the country needs more ORAL HEALTH EDUCATION than tooth extractions done in dental missions. I believe that good oral hygiene will suffice to prevent dental diseases and that it all starts at home.
When I say at home, it means parents, siblings, or relatives supervising kids on how to properly brush their teeth. That’s the real problem! Most adults would say they know how to brush their teeth but not how to properly brush the teeth.
For almost a year, we have conducted Oral Health Education to several communities/public schools in San Juan to educate parents and kids on how to properly brush their teeth. And we are so glad that Hapee Kiddie Toothpaste is a very affordable, beneficial toothpaste that has fun flavors for kids to enjoy. The price is really a factor since we’re buying tubes of toothpaste from our pockets. Nothing was sponsored.
And now that I’m pursuing my career in Doctor of Dental Medicine, I make sure I give oral health instructions to the parent/s of my pediatric patients. I share with them some techniques on how to make toothbrushing a fun activity with their kid. That’s the secret –make it as fun as possible so kids won’t get bored! Plus, using kidsciting flavors of toothpaste will make them enjoy toothbrushing more!
If you have a younger kid at home, remember to involve them in the activity by letting them brush their teeth for a while to keep them from getting bored. But make sure that you, as an elder, will brush their teeth thoroughly afterward.
Here’s a photo of my 2-year old nephew while I’m brushing his teeth. His mom often complains that it’s so hard to make him cooperate in toothbrushing. One day, I went to their house, I asked her to hand me his toothbrush, and I also bought him a new toothpaste. I told my sister to stay on the side and watch us.
Here are a few tips I told her:
1. Choose a kidsciting flavor of toothpaste. Yep, that’s #1. My nephew keeps on saying “it’s yummy!”
2. Make toothbrushing fun. Don’t make the kid feel like it’s a chore. Don’t make them feel they’re forced to do it.
3. Educate your child while brushing their teeth. Tell them some stories like “if you don’t brush your teeth, germs will grow in your teeth and it will be painful.” For instance, I’ve shown pictures of tooth decay to my nephew and asked him “Ewww, do you like your teeth to be like that?”, and he said, “no! It’s black”.
He is already 4-years old now, enjoys toothbrushing, and still has no signs of tooth decay!
Find out more about cavities and how you can prevent it by watching this fun-learning video by Hapee Philippines:
Remember, just like an adult, kids need to brush their teeth three times a day or after every meal. Forget the line, “It’s just milk teeth! It will soon be replaced”. Milk teeth are important just like the permanent teeth. Any infection coming from the milk teeth may cause harm to the buds of the permanent tooth beneath it. Also, it serves as a guide as to where the permanent tooth should erupt. So kids who lost their milk teeth early are likely to have crowding or malaligned teeth.
Moreover, don’t forget to bring your child to the dentist as early as the first tooth came out which is around 6 months and schedule a dental check-up every after 6 months!
I hope you have learned something from this short blog! If you have any dental-related questions, feel free to comment or DM me on my Instagram.