Informative article on caring for your child or childrens teeth from birth to 16 years of age.
Fluoride has many effects on the body. Some are beneficial, some are detrimental and which effects prevail and how much is a controversy that rages on even today.
Fluoride has been shown to strengthen tooth enamel in developing teeth. In higher concentrations, it also has detrimental effects on the body in other ways. There are compelling arguments on both sides and you will need to make your own decisions about its use for your family.
Normally, tap water in most cities contains some fluoride supplementation. If not in your area, check with your dentist about a prescription for regular daily fluoride supplementation. However, to avoid possibility of harmful effects do not exceed recommended doses of fluoride.
Cavities - Common dental problem among children.
If you allow your infant to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice, sugar present in milk or juice can remain on the gums and teeth for a prolonged period. This leads to cavities. Don't allow your child to walk around all waking hours with a bottle. Instead, teach your child to start drinking from a cup as soon as they are able.
Additionally, if your child consumes lots of sugary foods like candy, cookies, raisins, and many sweetened fruit juices, there is a high risk of developing cavities. If most of your family members suffer from cavities, your child could also develop cavities early in life. The tendency towards tooth decay may be hereditary, but the actual development of cavities requires bacteria. The best way to take good care of your child's teeth is to feed them good nutritious non-sweetened foods and brush regularly twice everyday, in the morning and at bedtime. Flossing once a day is equally essential.
Caring for Your Child's Teeth - Before Birth to 6 Months
A healthy pregnancy contributes to healthy formation of teeth in your baby. A woman should eat a nutritious and balanced diet with lots of vitamins and minerals during her pregnancy. She should also, undergo a thorough dental examination and have any decayed teeth filled or oral infections resolved. Your baby's teeth start forming from the second trimester of pregnancy. A baby at birth has all twenty teeth, although within the jaws beneath the gums.
After the birth of your child, in addition to a good nutritious diet, follow simple dental habits. You should not put your child to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. Sugars from juice and milk stay for prolonged periods and cause bacteria to develop. Remove bottle soon after feeding. Breast-feeding to sleep does not cause any problems.
Clean your child's mouth and gums with a wet gauze after feedings and at bedtime. If anyone in the household smokes, you will want to keep your child away from the tobacco and cigarette smoke. Aside from the obvious harmful medical effects, this could cause gum inflammation.
Caring for Your Child's Teeth - 6 Months to 3 Years
Infants start the eruption of their first teeth from the age of six months. They normally have six teeth around their first birthday. Use a wet cloth or sponge to wipe their gums after feedings. Once the first teeth have come in, clean them with a soft brush and water. Develop the habit of drinking from a cup around nine months of age to discourage bottle-feeds.
Put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush to brush your child's teeth after your child is a year-old. Until the age of three, you should brush your child's teeth both in the morning and at night. Teach your child not to swallow toothpaste.
Develop good eating habits in your child by giving foods that help in growth and development of strong gums and teeth like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Do not give sugary or high-carbohydrate foods like pastries, pasta, and processed carbohydrates.
Caring for Your Child's Teeth - 3 Years to 6 Years
At three years of age, your child may be learning to talk and starting to understand a few things. This is a good time to teach your child good dental habits.
Teach your child to brush their teeth on their own with your supervision. You can encourage your child to watch other elder siblings and elders brushing their teeth to learn the correct techniques.
Flossing is essential as soon as teeth start touching each other. Use plastic flossing tools available in the market to teach proper flossing habits to your child.
Thumb sucking is a habit often developed in infants and small children. A four-year old normally stops thumb sucking on their own. If not, you can take necessary guidance from your dentist to stop this habit and avoid unnecessary orthodontic complications.
Caring for Your Child's Teeth - 6 Years to 16 Years
From the age of six, your child starts losing all primary teeth and permanent teeth start growing in their place. By now, your child should be able to brush their own teeth independently. Make your child realize importance of brushing regularly in the morning and evening. Teach your child to floss regularly. You can ask your dentist to guide your child on correct technique of flossing.
Take your child to the dentist regularly. If your child develops cavities, the dentist will suggest proper treatment remedies. Give chew-able disclosing tablets to your child regularly to detect any plaque left on your child's teeth after brushing. These are available at local drugstores. They cause the plaque on the teeth to stain red so that it can be seen.
You can discuss with your dentist if it is essential to put dental sealants on the molar teeth of your child. Sealants are of hard plastic. The sealants are a flow-able liquid when applied, and flow into the grooves and pits of the chewing surfaces and then are hardened. This protects these surfaces from bacteria.
Teach your child to eat nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Educate your child about ill effects of highly processed carbohydrates and sugary foods. These habits, if started early, will instill good eating habits in your child and will lead to healthy teeth and bodies.