At Lifetime Dental Health Group we believe very strongly that prevention is always better than cure.This is most true with our children. Good beginning bacterial flora is a major protection from disease in the mouth and the whole body. Proper breathing and swallowing techniques also – ie always breathing through the nose and never – yes i said NEVER- through the mouth is the best way to grow a healthy face, beautiful smile and healthy airways.. Children who breath through their mouths have a lot of chronic health issues. From Tooth decay to asthma and allergies. So please monitor and encourage your children to keep their lips together whenever they are not talking or putting food in their mouths.
We like to start our dental education as early as before baby is born. Firstly, we want to make sure that mum and dad are dentally healthy before conception. Then , we wish to guide mum in the best way to maintain her mouth in a healthy state. We know that healthy mouth = healthy life. For mum her body is carrying a fully growing human being and her body will do everything it can to protect her baby. If her gums were healthy before getting pregnant then often they start bleeding and getting sore showing signs of infection. A professional clean and some more effectively home care – brushing, flossing and mouthwash will usually get things back under control. We recommend all pregnant mums to have a professional clean in the last month before birth. This is to ensure that mum passes the healthiest bacteria onto baby and gives baby the best start. If mum has infected gums and tooth decay then this bacterial flora is passed onto baby and he is likely to get tooth decay and gum infection when the teeth grow into the mouth.
Shortly After Birth “Breast is best”
Breast is best. Wherever possible breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding a new born. Breastfeeding is best done in a sitting up position and at regular intervals not “On-demand”. This sets up good eating habits for life. This makes snacking less likely. A breast feed baby knows when to stop feeding and has an active ‘shut-off” valve. This also will be true, later on, when eating solids. If you are having trouble then we have a lot of “connections” to very knowledgeable people who can solve most breast feeding issues. However, if this is not possible, as can occur, then the bottle and teat should mimic the breast as much as possible. Sucking should be “hard” work for the baby and the teat should fit the palate and stretch down the throat. Too often the teat has a “large” hole in the top which allows the milk to flow out under gravity and the baby effective drowns in the milk flow.
Sleep is very important at this time of life as they have completed 50% of their facial growth by the age of 5, and they do 90% of their growth while asleep. Equally nasal breathing is essential for normal facial growth and breast feeding promotes healthy facial growth through correct tongue posture and function and correct breathing and swallowing patterns. During this period our babies should be “chewing” or gumming on hard chicken and lamb chop bones.
Six Months and Beyond
Around 6 months the first teeth come into place. This is also the time that baby may get less satisfied with only beast milk and we are starting to think about beginning solid food. The indicator for solid foods is when baby has been sleeping through and getting enough nutrition from the breast and now starts to wake “early” again. This is an indication that he needs more energy and solids can be begun. There are a million methods of introducing solids and I have own my ideas from my children and my wife , who is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and has developed a whole weaning program that covers all of this very comprehensively. The basic concepts that i have discovered are: they need different textural foods from soft to hard to practice chewing and develop proper chewing muscle strength. Also baby needs a wide variety of foods from meat to vegetables to fruits. **