Dental Care for Children and Early Prevention

Why Preventive Dentistry is Important

Preventative Dentistry is an all-encompassing approach to oral health care that focuses on both treatment and prevention.

Cavities and other infections in young children hinder their oral development, ability to absorb important vitamins and nutrients, adversely affect their speech, and impact their confidence in their smiles. If the children see a paediatric dentist early enough, these issues can be avoided.

Teach Teeth Cleaning Habits: How to Brush and Floss

As a parent, it is essential that you teach your children proper brushing and flossing habits before their permanent teeth develop.

When they are infants and before their primary teeth erupt, wipe all parts of the gums using a washcloth and a soft baby brush when teeth first erupt. Do this daily before bed.

Once your child has teeth, you can start using toothpaste. Hold the toothbrush, so the bristles are pointing to where the teeth and gums meet and brush the teeth gently so you do not hurt the gums.

To floss, use a piece of floss as long as your child’s arm. Use your fingers to move the floss between the teeth and wrap the floss around each tooth, wiping from top to bottom until the tooth is clean.

Dental Development: Primary Teeth, Permanent Teeth, Gums

If your child experiences discomfort when his or her milk teeth develop, rub the gums with a cool spoon, a clean finger, or visit your dentist for over-the-counter medicine.

At about age six or seven, permanent teeth start to erupt in the back of the mouth called molars.

Although cavities are the most common issue among children, they are also at risk of gum disease. If you notice your child’s gums are bleeding or look swollen after brushing, take them to a dentist to be examined for any serious problems. Contact Knutsford dental practice to book an appointment.

Preventive Measures for Tooth Decay

The following suggestions can help you prevent tooth decay in your child:

  • Brush twice a day, and floss once per day.
  • Limit your child’s consumption of sweet and sticky foods.
  • Have your child see a dentist by age six months, but no later than age one.

Best and Worst Foods for Your Child’s Healthy Teeth

Best:

  1. Apples

Chewing apples and other crunchy foods naturally remove plaque from the teeth.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which together help maintain strong and healthy teeth.

  1. Celery and Carrots

Celery is made up of fibrous strands, which scrub plaque from the teeth while simultaneously acting as a natural floss.

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Certain acidic foods remove enamel from the teeth. Nuts like almonds, peanuts and cashews replenish minerals like calcium and phosphorus to the teeth, protecting them from acids that eat away at tooth enamel.

Worst:

  1. Sugary Drinks

The acids and sugars in some drinks eat away at tooth enamel, inhibit cavities, and cause tooth damage. Avoid sugary energy drinks. Even non-carbonated drinks can be harmful to the teeth.

  1. Sticky Sweets

Sweeties like toffee and caramel dissolve tooth enamel over time, and if your child chooses to indulge, rinse their mouth with water and brush thoroughly after.

  1. Carbs: Crisps, Bread, and Pasta

Carbohydrates break down into sugar when digested, and lead to tooth decay over time. Chips and other starchy snacks can adhere to the teeth and cause damage. Try to implement whole wheat products instead of white flour whenever possible.

When to Schedule the First Dental Visit

Your child should see a dentist for the first time when he or she turns six months old. It is important to visit a dental practice to familiarise your child with the sights, sounds and smells of the surgery and before your child exhibits any signs of dental issues.

Authors Bio

Established in July 2018, Superior Smiles is a new Knutsford dental clinic in Cheshire with extensive experience we offer a wide range of dental treatments for all ages.

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