Childs Dental Care and how you can help
Kids love chocolates and ice cream but unfortunately it's an enemy for their teeth. It's very important to take good care of your child's teeth as Healthy teeth are important to your child's overall health.
Dental care suggestions:
- For babies, you should clean teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby's toothbrush.
- Brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste
- Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks
- Provide milk and dairy products high in calcium
- Schedule regular dental check-ups
Causes of tooth decay: The most important factors related to tooth decay are which foods are eaten, how often they are eaten, and how long food stays on teeth or in the mouth.
- Tooth decay is caused by bacteria on the teeth.
- Fruit juice, sweetened tea, soft drinks, breast milk, cow's milk, and formula all contain sugars that can cause tooth decay if left in contact with teeth for lengthy periods of time.
- A toddler's teeth are at risk of decay if they are still drinking from a bottle filled with anything other than water during rest and sleep periods.
- Choose foods from two of the following four food groups: grains, vegetables and fruit, dairy, meat and alternatives.
- Brush your child's teeth using toothpaste that contains fluoride twice a day
- Gently brush your child's tongue to remove bacteria that forms there.
- Offer two to three snacks per day.
- Vary your daily snack choices.
- Take your child to a dentist every 6 months. Let the dentist know if your child thumb sucks or breathes through the mouth.
- Teach your child how to play safe and what to do if a tooth is broken or knocked out.
- When your child gets permanent teeth, he or she should begin flossing each evening before bed.
- When the child reaches the teens, braces or extractions may be needed to prevent long-term problems.
First Visit to the dentist:
- You should take your child for the first visit to the dentist between the time the first tooth appears (5-8 months) and the time when all the primary teeth are visible (before 2 1/2 years).
- Many dentists recommend a "trial" visit to expose the child to the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the office before the actual examination.
- Children who are accustomed to having their gums wiped and teeth brushed every day will be more comfortable going to the dentist.
Child's teething and eruption: The eruption of teeth into the mouth occurs between 6 months and 30 months of age and the growth of baby teeth is only completed at the age of 4, when the roots of all the erupted teeth are fully formed. The first teeth to erupt are usually the lower front teeth.
Signs of teething include:
- The gum over the erupting tooth can be swollen and red.
- A spot of blood may be found where the tooth "cuts" through the gum.
- The cheek on the side of the erupting tooth can appear flushed.
- There may be more dribbling than usual.
- The baby has the need to bite on a hard object.
- General irritability.
- Disturbed sleeping patterns.
- Diarrhea and fever do not necessarily accompany teething.
How to comfort a teething baby
- Gently massage the gum with a clean finger.
- A dummy (pacifier) may have a soothing effect.
- The baby's need to bite on something hard can be satisfied with a teething ring or a sugar-free rusk.
- A sugar-free analgesic for babies will lessen the pain and help to settle the baby. Consult your doctor or dentist about analgesics.
So if your child has any problem or even you have any doubts about your child's dental care, please visit the nearest dentist for the beautiful smile of your child.
(Sources: bchealthguide.org, nlm.nih.gov, about.com, simplyteeth.com)