Himachal Dental

Dental Health Guide For Children

Posted in Children Dentistry by UK Dental Tourism on January 2, 2010
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In order for your child to have good teeth later in life, mother should begin oral care early, even before the teeth appear. I will like to categorize the dental care for young children into:
1. Infant (below one year of age);
2. Preschool (one and a half to 4 years of age)

1. Infant dental care
Mother is advised to clean her baby’s gums daily with a clean, washed cloth. This mouth cleaning routine will gives the baby the feeling of a fresh, clean mouth. Cleaning the gums will help to reduce the infant teething discomfort.

Doctors have discovered that breast-feeding helps to develop the muscles and the bones of baby’s face. The muscles of the face play an important role in shaping the jaws and the position of the primary teeth of the baby. This later will influence the positioning of the permanent teeth.

Infant Feeding Habits
Breastfeeding is the best method to nourish your baby. However if the situation does not permit you to do so and you choose bottle-feeding, you should make sure that a soft bottle nipple is used. A good soft bottle nipple is able to flatten out against the roof of the baby’s mouth while the baby sucks. A hard, poorly designed nipple can cause the baby’s jaw to develop abnormally leading to dental and speech problems later in life. It is always a good practice to consult your lactation consultant, public health nurse, or doctor before you start your baby on bottle-feeding.

It is always a bad habit to give pacifier to your baby. Continuous sucking can cause high arch palate and protruding teeth. If you should choose to give your baby pacifier to suck please remember the followings don’ts:
1. Discourage prolong and continuous use.
2. No hard pacifier.
3. Never coat the pacifier with sugar or sweet substances. This can cause the baby’s teeth to decay early.
4. Don’t buy a pacifier with multiple parts.
5. Never attach a string to the pacifier as this may strangle the baby.

The baby first tooth usually comes out at about 6 to 10 months of age. Teething period will cause some discomfort making the baby not willing to drink or eat, irritable, and fussy. Studies showed that giving baby a clean teething ring or a cold wet washed cloth to bite or chew can make baby feel better and help the teeth come through the gums quicker. Frequent cleaning the gums can reduce teething pain.
Early Tooth Decay in Children
Baby’s teeth can start to decay from the first day they come out. This usually happens to baby who uses a bottle for long periods, and also during rest or sleep. Drink that contains sugar like: fruit juice, breast milk, cow’s milk and honey can cause tooth decay. Giving water at bed, nap times and in between regular feeding is a good practice.
Please remember to:
a. Clean your baby’s gums and teeth daily with wet clean cloth.
b. Avoid giving the bottle or breast as a pacifier before baby fall asleep. The sugar in the milk that remains in the baby’s mouth over a long time will cause repeated acid attacks to the teeth.

2. Preschool Years dental care
The child’s permanent teeth depend very much on the healthy primary or “baby” teeth. When the baby teeth decay and are not repaired, they will be lost too prematurely. Baby with healthy teeth will enable the child to chew food, speak properly, and look good.

It is a good practice to discourage your child from thumb or finger sucking. Thumb sucking is usually forceful and over prolong period of time. This can cause changes to the position of the teeth, mouth and/or lips.

Good mouth and dental care consists of:
1. Brushing your child’s teeth twice daily – in the morning and before bedtime.
2. Using a child-size soft-bristled toothbrush with little amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
3. Do not use fluoridated toothpaste for children under age 3.
4. Teach your child to spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water.
5. Help to floss your child’s teeth daily especially the teeth at the back.

Your infant/child should visit your dentist at 1 year old. This way you set the groundwork for a long-term relationship with both the dentist and the dental hygienist. Remember it is much better for you and your child to keep their gums and teeth healthy. Prevention is the key, and is a lot less expensive than dental treatment. Your dentist may recommend sealants for your child’s adult teeth once they erupt, to help to prevent cavities. Also, fluoride treatments should be performed during your child’s regular checkups. Your child will also be taught how to floss their teeth, and mouth washing may also be recommended. You should also get an orthodontic consultation for your child at around the age of seven. If you can practise these guides, your child will have great teeth.

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