Caring for children’s teeth from an early age is very important because this will help them to grow up with healthy teeth and gums. Visits to the dentist , Diet, and Oral hygiene are all important in helping to care for a child’s teeth.
Development of children’s teeth start before birth. As you know, there are two sets of teeth: milk teeth and permanent teeth.
Your child’s milk teeth are important for eating, speech, smiling and confidence. They are also important for the development of permanent teeth, so it’s very important to look after them.
Permanent teeth usually start showing up at the age of six. Adults have up to 32 permanent teeth.
Children easily get tooth injuries by falling over and other accidents in playtime. If this happens, take your child and the tooth if it has been knocked out to your dentist for advice as quickly as possible. If you can’t get to your dentist, contact the nearest dentist.
Tooth decay and dental erosion are two preventable causes of damage to children’s teeth
There are bacterias in our mouths to help digetion of sugar in our food and drinks. These bacterias are build up on the teeth in a sticky layer called plaque. Along with helping the digetion, they make acids that can weaken the tooth enamel. When this acid remains on the tooth surface for a long time, tooth decay happents in that area of mouth. This happents when children don’t clean their teeth properly. It is very hard to stop chilren from having sugary foods and drinks or making sure their mouth is clean always. So it is strongly recommented to have regular dentist visits.
If your child has tooth decay that isn’t treated by a dentist, it will eventually reach the centre of the tooth and can cause an infection or toothache.
Dental erosion is the gradual wearing away of the enamel on the whole surface of the tooth. It’s caused by acid attacking the surfaces of the teeth. These acids usually come from drinks such as fruit juices, fizzy drinks and squashes – even the sugar-free varieties. These drinks are so popular that over half of all five-year-olds in the US have some dental erosion. Acids can also be produced if your child vomits or has stomach problems.
Dental erosion can cause sensitivity and pain. Although enamel doesn’t grow back, dental erosion doesn’t usually need treatment. If your child has a seriously eroded tooth, his or her dentist may protect the tooth with a filling.
How to protect child’s teeth?
To reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay and dental erosion:
· take your child to the dentist regularly
· don’t give him or her too many sugary or acidic foods and drinks
· encourage your child to brush his or her teeth twice a day with at least 1,000ppm fluoride toothpaste
· encourage your child to spit out toothpaste and not rinse with water, as this reduces the effect of the fluoride
· take advice from your dentist about protective treatments such as fluoride supplements and fissure sealants.
Going to the dentist
It’s a very good to take your child when you go to you dentist for regular check-ups, even when he or she is too young to have teeth. This helps your child get familiar with the people and the surroundings at the dental surgery. Your dentist will look in your child’s mouth in an informal way, and may count how many teeth have erupted and spot any early signs of decay. Quick check-ups like this help to encourage good co-operation with the dentist when your child is older.
Your dentist will recommend check-ups at intervals suitable for your child. He or she may take X-ray images to check for decay. Children usually need dental visits more often than adults. Milk teeth are smaller and have thinner enamel than permanent teeth, so decay can spread very quickly. Regular check-ups help your dentist to help you prevent and treat decay before it causes toothache.
Reducing sugar in your child’s diet is the best way to prevent tooth decay. What matters is, how often your child eats sugar not how much sugar. Similarly, it’s how often your child has acidic food and drinks not the amount, that affects dental erosion.
Keep squashes, fizzy drinks, natural fruit juices, sweets and cakes to a minimum. Don’t give your child sugary foods and drinks as snacks between meals or before bedtime. Watch out for hidden sugars in sauces, breakfast cereals, etc.
Fruit, vegetables, cheese and milk are all healthier snacks because they contain natural sugars. Remember, however, that as well as natural sugars, fruit contains acids, which can cause decay if eaten in large amounts. You can help to protect your child’s teeth against erosion by finishing a meal with an alkaline food such as milk or cheese. This will neutralize the acid in your child’s mouth.
Older children can chew sugar-free gum after meals, especially containing xylitol, as this helps remove bacteria and so prevent tooth decay.
Plain water and plain milk don’t cause tooth decay or erosion. Your child may find it hard to drink plain water or milk if he or she usually has sweet drinks, but most children get used to it over time.