Oral health is generally not a top healthcare priority for most immigrants and low income families and individuals. Even with the general population, much more attention is given to primary health care needs than oral health. In some cases, this makes sense for families under tight budgets and other groups of people such as students and low income earners. However, research shows that having a healthy teeth and gums plays a vital role in establishing an overall healthy body. In fact, even for families that can afford some form of dental plans, children are frequently left out but sometimes this tends out to be more expensive than thought.
Therefore, in this short article, I will describe some do it yourself (DIY) for preventive oral health plans for children. My next article will focus on adults.
What is Preventive Dental for Children?
The term preventive oral or dental care does not apply only to services obtained at the dentist office but rather to all the things you need to do for your child to have good teeth, good breath and feel healthier. These include brushing, flossing and also taking your child to see the dentist periodically for examination. For families on tight budget who may not be able to afford dental plan for the whole family and therefore decide to leave the kids out, it is important that the parents play a very significant role in maintaining healthy teeth and overall oral health of their children.
It is important to remember that children who do not have any opportunity to see any dentist or physician regularly need even more attention from parents than their lucky counterparts.
Suggest for families with uninsured kids:
• Parents should wipe infant's gums and teeth after each meal. A moist washcloth or gauze pad may be employed in this exercise.
• For the kids that have teeth, parents should brush the child's teeth with children toothbrush and non-fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste should only be used when the children know how to gaggle and spew out the water or at the recommendation of a dentist or physician.
• Please do not use food as a pacifier. Do not put your child to bed with food or bottle in his mouth. Such practices are common causes for early childhood caries, also known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay syndrome.
• As soon as your child is able, get the bottles away and get them drink from a cup. Remember, drinking from a bottle causes the liquid to collect around the teeth and for sugary liquids, this can be harmful to your child's teeth.
It is better that you have a dental plan for your child to see the dentist periodically but if, unfortunately, this is not possible, there are many steps you can take to get your children maintain healthy teeth and oral health.
(MY Blog http://www.talkafrique.com presents educational and self help materials for minorities and low income families and individuals)