Tooth care for children
Teeth are the hardest substances in the human body required for various purpose like chewing and speaking. They also give a proper shape to our face and are present in the oral cavity which is called the gateway of health.
Inspite of great strides in the prevention of decay in children, one in four children are showing signs of tooth decay even before they attain the age of 6 and one in two,by the time they reach 12 to 15 years of age. To avoid this alarming trend few precautions should be taken to maintain a healthy oral cavity in children.
Initial care: Dental care of a child should begin even before they are born as,certain drugs like tetracycline when ingested by the mother, when the baby is in the womb, leads to intrinsic stains on the babies teeth which are difficult to remove.
Oral care during the initial months, when the child develops 1 to 2 teeth and brushing is not possible, teeth should be cleaned with a moist cloth.Once the child attains the age of 2, they should be allowed to brush their own teeth under parental guidance,to teach children the importance of oral care routine.
Sealants – Permanent first molars erupt at the age of 6, These molars along with others Permanent grinding teeth sometimes have deep pits and fissures,which house food material and conclusively lead to tooth decay. This can be arrested by applying thin protective coating called sealants on the grinding surface, of the teeth which significantly cuts down the decay.
Fluoride intake – Fluoride toughens enamel, which is the outermost covering of the crown, making it resistant to decay. If there is no fluoride content in the drinking water, it is suggested to use fluoride tooth pastes (pea sized) and mouth washes in children but,fluoride should be used daintily as excess fluoride can cause white blotches on the enamel.
Eat Smart – Sugary Substances should be avoided as sugars are broken down by bacteria present in the mouth to produce acids,which erode the enamel and lead to tooth decay.Children should also abstain from taking carbonated drinks as they increase the acidity. Sticky candies are a big “No” after taking your regular meals as, they loiter on the tooth surface overnight and allow bacterial accumulation.
Healthy Balanced diet plays a very crucial role in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, specially in growing children.
Brushing and Flossing – Children Should make it a habit to brush twice a day and floss regularly. Tooth brushes should be changed every three months and special orthodontic tooth brushes are available for teenagers with braces.
Regular Checkups – It is mandatory to visit a dentist for a regular check up every six months, to track the dental health as these help to avoid potential problems and keep the teeth healthy.