World Oral Health Day rolled around recently and it was a great reminder that Hana was due for her first dentist checkup. I had been delaying the inevitable because the first trip for Hamza was quite daunting for him and I was hoping to let Hana be a little older for her first encounter.

I asked you for some tips and hints on easing a first dentist trip, which you can check out here

As you know, we have been homeschooling for nine months now and this means that the responsibility to educate around Oral Hygiene was solely our responsibility. It also meant that we were able to really focus on the aspects that we wanted to drive home on the topic.

Enter the Mouth Wash:

First up we took a look at how cavities are formed and the various ways to clean your mouth. While my kids have been brushing their teeth twice a day with a timer for some time now, we have not yeat spoken about things like flossing or mouth wash yet.

We took the kids through the setps to cleaning your mouth with a wash, using Andolex-C and explained to them how to ‘wash and spit’ for extra cleanliness.

They absolutely loved adding this extra step to their routine and found the mouthwash easy to manage in their mouth and not overwhelming in any way. Our dentist was also super happy to know that we were using a good mouthwash too, so I scored some mom brownie points 🙂

Some stats:

According to the World Dental Federation, the body that represents more than one million dentists in over 130 countries, oral conditions rank amongst the most prevalent non-communicable diseases and affect almost four million people worldwide.

A new global definition for oral health, which was accepted and approved in September 2016, has opened the door to a universal definition of oral health and acknowledges that oral health is a fundamental human right. This definition states that:

“Oral health is multifaceted and includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and without pain, discomfort, and disease of the craniofacial complex”.

What remains clear is that not enough people are aware about the intrinsic link between your mouth and your general wellbeing. In fact, your mouth has been likened to a mirror which can reflect a person’s general health and wellbeing, revealing nutritional deficiencies and signs of other diseases.

Clinical studies have shown that those with poor oral hygiene are at increased risk of developing various oral health problems such as dental cavities, periodontal disease, halitosis, oral pain, and discomfort for denture wearers. Some studies have even indicated a link between some oral cancers and poor dental and oral hygiene.

Symptoms of periodontal disease:

My son was very interested in understanding all the different types of gum disease and their symptoms. These include:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Pain in the gum area
  • Signs of bleeding after brushing, flossing or eating certain foods
  • Inflammation or puss between gums and teeth
  • Signs of teeth loosening or separating
  • Persistent halitosis
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures
  • Changes in the positioning of teeth
  • Experiencing episodes of oral pain

Another big focus for us was how food, alcohol sugar and smoking play a role in your mouth health.

Speak to your dentist or go to for more information about how to prevent many common oral health problems.