<p>A healthy mouth is essential for maintaining your child's overall health. If neglected, oral health issues may lead to various chronic health diseases in your child. Therefore it is essential to monitor, check and care for your child's oral health from an early age.
</p><p><strong>Importance of children's oral health</strong></p><p>Good oral hygiene practices, comprising healthy teeth and gums, lead to efficient chewing and digestion of food which in turn leads to a healthy body. According to Dr Rashna Aga, Consultant Dentistry at The Aga Khan University Hospital, “Tooth decay in children is a result of poor oral hygiene, due to which they may experience pain in chewing, resulting in limited food intake, thus affecting their overall health and wellbeing," adding that poor oral hygiene practices amongst children may lead to a cumulation of plaque deposits in the mouth, which puts them at risk of various diseases like bacterial endocarditis.</p><p><strong>Risk factors associated with oral health</strong></p><p>Increased intake of sugary foods and drinks increases the chances of tooth decay. Improper tooth brushing technique along with low frequency of tooth brushing may lead to poor gum health and infection. “If your child's teeth are malaligned, they may be more susceptible to poor oral hygiene as it becomes difficult to clean crowded and crooked teeth. Some malocclusions may also predispose a child to jaw pain or chewing and speaking difficulties," says Dr Rashna.</p><p><strong>Health issues due to declining oral health</strong></p><p> Poor or declining oral health may lead to pain and swelling in the teeth and gums which decreases a child's oral food intake, which may lead to malnutrition in extreme cases. Failure to follow hygienic oral health best practices predisposes a child's mouth to bacterial colonisation which may also be a cause of heart problems as well. </p><p><strong>Ways to improve your child's oral health.</strong></p><ul><li>Ensuring your child brushes twice daily, once after breakfast and once before going to bed; this helps keep your child's teeth and gums healthy.</li><li>Brushing of teeth should be started as soon as your child's first tooth emerges in the mouth.</li><li>Avoiding sugary foods and drinks, and brushing following intake of these helps prevent cavities</li><li>A regular oral check-up with a dentist to identify any problems at an early stage prevents extensive decay thus keeping the child's mouth disease-free.</li><li>A child's first visit to an orthodontist (braces specialist) should be at the age of 7 years to identify any functional problems in their bite which need to be corrected with braces while the child is growing.
</li></ul><div>To book an appointment, call (021) 111 911 911</div><div>
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