LiveMD answers some of the most commonly asked questions about the speech and language development of your child.
What Stages Should I Expect in my Child’s Speech Development?
Six months of age is when your child will start to develop their communication skills. You will notice them imitating certain sounds and syllables and they will watch you as you speak to them. These skills will continue to develop and by the age of 9 months, your child should be responding to sounds and to their name when called. They should also understand certain words, like the word “no” and be able to play and understand games like “peek-a-boo”. Your baby will continue to babble and put sounds together and will eventually start forming their first words by the age of 1. They will also understand simple instructions and will get your attention to communicate what they want through the use of words or gestures. Speech and language skills will continue to develop until a full vocabulary and understanding of verbal and nonverbal cues has been established.
What Does it Mean if My Child Hasn’t Started to Speak Yet?
Some children are late bloomers and will begin to speak and communicate at their own pace and this is completely normal. If however, you feel that your child is far behind the usual milestone markers (as discussed above), or if you notice unusual behaviour, then it is time to speak with a doctor and have your child evaluated.
Hearing problems can cause a child to be far behind in speech and language development and often a child that relies on gestures instead of spoken sound, or doesn’t respond when called may be suffering from an undiagnosed hearing impairment.
If your child is making noises but has an unusual sounding voice that is nasally or raspy, this may be an indication of a problem in the mouth. Issues with the tongue or roof of the mouth can make it very difficult for a child to learn to form words.
Other issues, like overall delayed development, or conditions such as autism can cause impairment in communication skills as well.
How Can I Assist my Child in Developing These Skills?
Spending time and working closely with your child at a very early age can help them to obtain a strong grasp of proper communication skills. By using real words instead of “baby talk” when speaking to them you are helping them to learn and by listening to them you are encouraging them to continue to try forming new words. Using lots of different words will enhance their vocabulary and using repetition will allow them the opportunity to become familiar with how different words sound and are formed.
Proper development of speech and language skills is very important for your baby. It will allow them to grow into a well spoken adult that will be able to effectively communicate with those around them. If you have questions about your child’s development or have concerns about their progress, visit www.mylivemd.com today. Our doctors are available to help you with all of your questions and give you the proper advice that you need to make informed decisions about the care of your family and yourself.
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Posted in Child Health, Oral Health, Speech Therapy
Keep Your Mouth Smiling With Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is very important. Ensuring that your teeth and gums stay healthy is vital for your overall wellbeing. Here are 5 easy ways to protect your mouth and have a great smile for years to come!
1. Brush Your Teeth Often
Your mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and this bacteria can quickly turn into tartar and plaque that builds up on your teeth. Regular brushing will remove this plaque and rid your mouth of the harmful organisms that can lead to infections. You should brush your teeth and tongue in a circular motion with gentle pressure. Doing this 2 to 3 times per day will assist in keeping your mouth healthy for a long time!
2. Floss Your Teeth Daily
Often plaque and food can get stuck between your teeth or up under your gum line. If not removed, these particles can lead to infection, cavities, or more serious diseases like gingivitis. Flossing your teeth once a day will help to prevent tooth and gum decay and will keep your mouth feeling clean and fresh.
3. Don’t Eat Too Much Sugar
Foods filled with sugar or sweetened, carbonated drinks are one of the leading causes of cavities and gum disease. The bacteria that live in your mouth uses sugar for fuel and this speeds up their ability to multiply and grow. More bacteria means more plaque on teeth, leading to tooth decay and disease. Reducing your sugar intake and cutting back on sugary beverages is one easy way to have a healthier mouth.
4. Quit Smoking
We already know that smoking is bad for our health and our oral health is one of the first places that is affected by this habit. Not only do cigarettes cause bad breath and discolored teeth, they can cause gum disease which in severe cases can lead to teeth becoming loose and falling out. Smoking is also one of the leading causes of mouth and throat cancer. Quitting smoking can have so many positive effects on your overall health and wellbeing and there are many options available now to help you quit. Talk to your doctor today to see what option is right for you.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
A regular visit to the dentist is very important to keep your teeth clean and your entire mouth healthy. Dentists and their technicians can remove built up plaque and tartar and can resolve any minor problems, like the start of a cavity, before they turn into a major toothache. It is recommended that children begin seeing a dentist after their first birthday and that regular dental visits are continued once or twice a year for the rest of a person’s life.
Following these helpful tips will ensure that your mouth stays healthy and your smile stays happy for many more years to come. Click here to talk to one of our dentists now via voice, text, or video if you have any questions about oral hygiene including the health of your teeth and gums. You can also search and talk to our dentists and other doctors at www.mylivemd.com.
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Posted in Oral Health