All about Dental Hygiene
Teeth begin to form even before birth but start pushing through the gums only when a child is about 6 months old. The primary set is usually complete by age 3, followed by permanent teeth, which appear between ages six and thirteen
Good dental care begins as soon as the first baby teeth erupt.
Taking care of baby teeth is critical because healthy primary teeth lay the foundation for healthy permanent teeth.
- Rub a damp cloth across the gums and teeth immediately after feeding to keep tooth surfaces free of cavity causing bacteria.
- Brushing should be done regularly after meals.
– Make brushing fun by using a colourful toothbrush and a sparkly, nicely flavoured children’s toothpaste.
– Brushing has to be for atleast 2 minutes to be effective in removing plaque.
It is the brushing action not the type of toothpaste that removes plaque.
– Supervise brushing till 5+
- Toothbrushes have to be replaced every three months as they become homes for bacteria and no longer do a good job of cleaning.
- Schedule the 1st dental exam when a child in 2 ½ – 3 years old. Choose a paedia-dentist rather than a normal dentist. Subsequent visits can be made every six months or as prescribed by the dentist.
- Teach the child to drink water after every meal as water helps to keep teeth clean.
Some facts on Cavities
Cavities are caused by acid producing bacteria that live in the mouth and produce plaque. Children most at risk for cavities are
babies who fall asleep while sucking a bottle of milk or juice
children who suck on pacifiers dipped in honey
kids with braces
youngsters undergoing a stressful, major life change
children who already have a cavity.
- If a cavity is not filled promptly, the bacterial count in the mouth increases and the cavity can spread, especially to neighbouring teeth.
- Cavities spread faster in baby teeth than adult teeth because of their composition.
- Brushing reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth and cleans away food debris.
Its not the amount of sweets that causes cavities as much as the amount of time the sweets are in the child’s mouth and when they’re eaten. The best time to eat sweets is after a meal.
- Foods that contain sugar and stick to teeth increase the risk of cavities. These include fudge, raisins, white bread and potato chips.
Cheese, yogurt, celery, chocolate and peanuts have a cavity fighting effect.
All kinds of illnesses from diarrhoea to vomiting and high fever are attributed to teething. This is by and large a myth. The child falls ill frequently while teething because he puts almost everything into his mouth to relieve the itching caused by teething and as a rult picks up all kinds of infections. The best remedy for this to keep the child’s play area clean and to wash his toys almost every two days.
Babies begin teething from about 6 – 7 months of age. Sometimes itchy gums may cause a child to go off his feed or have difficulty in sleeping. Excessive salivation and gum rubbing normally accompany teething. Or you could be lucky and your baby could teeth without you’re even knowing he had begun.
– if you buy teething soothers try the water filled variety.
– Carrots or bread sticks or rusks are also good for children but should be given under supervision as they constitute a choking hazard.
– Refrigerate the teether or the carrots. The cold is soothing for the gums.
– Massage the gums with clean hands but avoid using medicated lotions and powders on the gums.