Once we become parents, our entire focus usually shifts to the needs of our children. We always worry if they are strong enough, healthy enough, or happy enough. We give them daily vitamins, we serve them nutritious foods, and we bring them to their doctors and dentist regularly for check-ups and treatments. And during all of these, our own health is often compromised. This is not to say that caring for our children is harmful to our health, it's just that we have to balance our priorities and always give ourselves time to take care of our needs as well.

Parent responsibilities

When it comes to our health, we often neglect to give proper attention in caring for our oral health. As parents, it is our responsibility to monitor the oral health status of our children. We should teach them how to brush their teeth, how to avoid eating sweets constantly, and how to control oral habits like thumb sucking at night. We must bring them to their dentist's regularly for restorations, fluoride treatments, and oral prophylaxis. We should make sure that they live a life free of infection and pain that may hinder their ability to eat well, speak well, and play well. However, we must remember that it is not only the children who can experience tooth decay. Even parents can suffer tooth aches and other oral health problems if we fail to take care of our oral health.

Importance of a parent’s dental health

As we age, we can experience a lot of oral health problems that are more severe than that of our children's. Gum diseases such as gingivitis, and the more destructive periodontitis, usually occur first as a result of poor oral hygiene. In this instance, we experience bleeding upon brushing, moving of teeth, and swelling of gums. Peridontitis was even suggested to be one of the causes of developing coronary heart disease, diabetic complications, pregnancy complications and respiratory infections.

Xerostomia, or drying of the mouth, is also common as we age and it usually occurs due to some of the medications we take. Not having enough saliva in the mouth predisposes us to develop caries and other mouth infections which can make it difficult for us to eat and speak properly. Aside from xerostomia, we are also more prone to developing oral cancers which are usually detected at their latter stages already.

Find a level ground

Knowing more about oral health can help us look after the health of ourselves and our loved ones. We can now understand better the importance of allotting time to ourselves for doing the necessary things that will help us achieve a healthy life. How do you think we can take care of our children if we are not even fit and healthy enough to take care of ourselves?

Jem is a freelance writer concerned with peoples’ oral hygiene, hoping to prevent the onset of oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum diseases. You can also find & follow Jem on twitter @writerjem to learn more. 


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