My child’s teeth!
It is important to care for your child’s teeth from an early age. This will ensure your child growing up with healthy teeth and gums. This means even wiping your baby’s gums after feeding with a soft damp cloth in order to prevent bacteria build-up.
Three important issues to always remember when you think about your child’s teeth!
Ø Regular visits to the dentist.
Ø Your child’s diet, what your child should and should not eat. Keep away from sugary or acidic food and drinks.
Ø Oral hygiene, when to brush teeth and how often. Teach your child from a young age to spit out toothpaste and not rinse with water. This will reduce the effect of fluoride.
Interesting facts about your child’s teeth!
Your child’s teeth start developing before birth. I child firstly gets milk teeth, thereafter permanent teeth.
A child’s milk teeth are important for speech, smile, eating and mostly for confidence. Looking after a child’s milk teeth will ensure the healthy development of the permanent teeth.
A child usually has 20 milk teeth by the age of three years, starting to come out through the gums at about six months of age. The last milk teeth will fall out by the age of 12 years.
If you as a parent do not look after your child’s permanent teeth and teach them the right from wrong, these teeth might get damaged or even need to be removed. Unfortunately there are not another set of teeth to replace the ones lost.
From the age of six years your child’s permanent teeth will start to erupt and as an adult have 32 permanent teeth.
Cavities and your child’s teeth.
What is a cavity?
Cavities are holes in the teeth formed from germs, a more scientific word is bacteria, using the sugary foods that they eat, to form acid. This acid then eats away at the teeth.
How to stop cavities and bad teeth?
- Brush teeth regularly to prevent the acid from eating away at teeth.
- If your child is capable to do so, it is very important to teach them how to floss once a day.
- Learn your child the importance of brushing teeth twice a day, in the morning and before bedtime.
- Twice a year visits to the dentist are essential. You get children who are scared and traumatised of a dentist and are unable to sit quietly in the dentist chair. My child was one of those children. My dentist and I diarized two visits per year and my child’s teeth were checked, fixed and cleaned under anaesthetic at our local hospital up until the age of 7 years. Thereafter my child himself decided to go to the dentist office without being traumatized.
- Avoiding sweets, fizzy drinks and between-meal snacks is good advice but much harder to do. Rather try teeth friendly snacks like fruits and vegetables.
- Never put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice, only if it contains plain water.
If the liquid for example stays in contact with the child’s teeth for a long period of time, the sugars cause tooth decay.
What to use to clean your child’s teeth!
Toothpaste and a toothbrush.
You get special toothbrushes for babies as well as for growing children.
When your child is the right age, teach him/her to clean their teeth by applying small circular movements.
The mineral in our toothpaste is called fluoride. This fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel.
Older children can chew sugar-free gum after meals, gum containing Xylitol, because this prevents tooth decay.
For a small child you get disclosing tablets. This is small pills, if chewed for 30 seconds, turn the plaque into a bright colour, usually pink. This will help show your child the areas that he/she have been missing when brushing.