brushing-teeth-787630__180As a parent it is awful to watch your child go under an operation and watch them fall asleep. I had to go through that with my child to remove 6 teeth since she had too many.

It feels terrible, having to leave someone else with your child whilst waiting outside brimming with tears.

Soon she will also need to have 2 more taken out along with part of the bone in her jaw to allow another tooth to come up which is hidden in the gum.

However, there is something to be thankful for. None of her teeth are decayed or have any problems so we should always pray for small mercies. Luckily once her braces are taken off, my daughter will have the perfect smile she has wanted instead of looking like a vampire with the fangs that she used to have.

When my daughter was born I made sure to read up all that I could on child development. I wanted to be the best mother that I could be, especially since I knew nothing about child development then.

One thing that shocked me was to discover that some infants are actually born with teeth! Usually, babies take around 6 months for teething to begin – by the age of 3 most teeth are through.

The mouth and teeth are extremely important for developing a child’s speech and how they are able to talk. Our teeth also help with eating and facial appearance; teeth also create mouth-space for adult teeth to come through.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that almost 1 in 3 5 year olds have dental decay. This is an acid damaging hard tooth structures from acidic drinks or bacteria from sticky food or dry fruit.

At this young and tender age of development, it is useful to avoid acidic foods and drinks to build up their teeth.

Since teeth are still growing, it is useful for your child to have lots of calcium found in dairy products such as milk. Calcium is useful because it strengthens bones and teeth, helping the development of the mouth.

To get back on track, here are some useful tips so that your child has great teeth instead of any that are decayed or need removing.

Looking after your child’s teeth – starts with great habits

1. Start brushing as a daily routine when the teeth come through.
2. Give only water in between meals, never sweet drinks at bedtime or during the night.
3. Check ingredients of foods as there are a lot of hidden sugars. There is honey, sucrose, gluscose, maltose, dextrose, fructose, hydrolysed starch, corn or maze syrup, molasses, raw brown sugar, treacle or concentrated fruit juices.
4. Infants or toddlers do not need fruit juice, yet if you do give it to them make sure it is diluted. Serve one part juice to 10 parts water, in a cup and never a bottle.
5. From 12 months, serve drinks in cups not bottles. Lidded cups should have a free-flow spout, not a valved one.
6. If using dummies (which are really not recommended by speech therapists) use orthodontic versions and never dip them in sweet foods such as jam or honey.

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