9 months ago
It is never too early to begin good oral care for your children. Parents should be responsible for guiding their children to appreciate the importance of proper oral hygiene practices.
They should already begin brushing their children’s teeth as soon as the first primary or milk tooth erupt through the gums around the age of four to six months. They should continue brushing their children’s teeth until they are at least two years old. These milk teeth are important for learning to eat solid food and learning to talk. They are less dense than permanent teeth and hence more susceptible to decay-causing carries.
Aside from helping your baby chew down food into small, easy to digest pieces, these milk teeth help them to pronounce words correctly. The milk teeth also help in the growth of strong, properly aligned, healthy permanent teeth starting from about six years onward.
Parents should teach their children how to brush their teeth properly. They should make sure that their children learn how to brush gently in a circular motion thoroughly. They should also always check the results and re-brush the hard-to-reach areas at least until the children are six years old.
Parents should continue supervising their children’s brushing routines, including the application of the right amount of fluoride toothpaste, until they are at least twelve years old. Too much fluoride can blemish the permanent teeth before they emerge from the gums. Children, especially when they are still very young, should be taught not to swallow toothpaste.
Most dental experts recommend brushing the teeth no fewer than twice a day, with the last one done just before bedtime. They also advise waiting for one hour after eating before actually brushing to give the teeth enough time to re-build up their mineral content. Aside from the toothbrush, parents would do well to also teach their children the importance of flossing and using a tongue cleaner in their daily oral hygiene routine.
Diet too plays a key part in the development of healthy teeth. Sugar and acidic drinks can cause tooth decay. Limit their quantity and the frequency by which they are consumed by your children. Dental experts also recommend that you give them milk or cheese especially before bedtime since these types of food contain alkaline that can neutralise the acidic contents of their mouth. Plain drinking water likewise helps clear the oral cavity of food particles which can spawn decay-causing bacteria.
The sooner children begin going for regular dental check-ups the better for their long-term oral health. Start taking your baby to your dentist even before he or she has any visible teeth. Your family dentist can check which tooth or teeth are about to erupt and warn you if there are any indications of potential for decay.
Topical fluoride varnishes are also used to strengthen the teeth. Following every checkup, you can ask your dentist for measures you can take to further protect your children’s oral health. This will also be a good opportunity for you to help your children to grow up without any dentist phobia.
At Oatlands Dental Lounge, we always take into account each child’s particular condition when visiting us and we strive to present a caring, safe and secure environment where his or her experience here is always positive and educational.
Our Family Dentist offers children colouring contests, reading materials and interactive toys and our entire dental team will take the extra effort to ensure that your child is comfortable and that you are properly informed and in control at every step of the treatment – no matter how simple. They even leave with a dental goody bag!
BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)
BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)