There is no better feeling than seeing the smile on your child's face. However, a beautiful smile also requires healthy teeth, which require a lot of care and attention. The role of the parent in this regard is crucial and it is good to know when and how to start with the oral hygiene of children.
What is crucial for healthy children's teeth?
It is crucial for the strength of the teeth the period of their formation – even the first weeks of the pregnancy. Therefore, the expectant mother should consume food rich in vitamins and minerals. Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, raw nuts are important.
When to start caring for children's teeth?
You can start brushing your teeth with a brush and toothpaste even after the first molars erupt. For this purpose, consult your pediatrician, who will recommend a suitable paste and brush. It is important that the paste does not contain substances that are contraindicated for this early age. For a child under two years old, it is not recommended that the paste contains fluoride, for example.
When the child is about two years old and old enough to understand what brushing involves, you can explain why it is important and make brushing fun and interesting. The provoking of interest and turning brushing your teeth into a game is key. Everything that is pleasant for the child happens easily and without resistance. If you are forcing it, you better give it up, at least for a while.
Healthy baby teeth are of great importance both for the chewing process and for the location of the permanent teeth. It is necessary to maintain ideal oral hygiene in order to protect the teeth from damage.
What causes tooth decay in children?
The most common dental disease is caries. The residues between the teeth from the children's favorite carbohydrate food (candy, chocolate, cakes, jams) are broken down into acids by the bacteria of the oral cavity and eat away at the tooth enamel. Thus, a small hole (caries) is formed, which can increase and destroy the entire tooth.
Diet for healthy teeth
The biggest enemy of healthy teeth is unhealthy eating and the intake of many foods containing sugar. Therefore, the intake of carbohydrate food should be limited in the three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) when other food is also taken. Combined with the rest of the food, sugar damages the teeth less than if taken alone. Intermediate meals (second and third breakfast) should not include carbohydrates. They should be eaten instead of sweets fruits, vegetables, cheese, nuts, rye bread . Brushing the teeth removes food residues, protects them from the formation of tartar and caries and massages the gums.
How often should children brush their teeth?
The breakdown of carbohydrates into acids takes place immediately after their intake. Ten minutes after eating the cake, the concentration of acids can already be detected in the oral cavity. Hence the rule follows brush your teeth immediately after eating.
The accepted practice of brushing the teeth in the evening, before going to bed, and in the morning, after getting up, fulfills its cosmetic purpose, but has no health preventive value.
How to choose a suitable toothbrush?
The brush should have a small head - about 3 cm long, and medium-hard, not very long bristles. In addition, the technique of brushing the teeth is very important in order to remove food residues from between the teeth. The brush moves with rotating movements in a vertical direction from the gums to the teeth - for the upper jaw from top to bottom, and for the lower jaw from bottom to top. In this way, the gums are massaged and their blood supply is improved. If brushing is carried out in the direction from the teeth to the gums or in a transverse direction (left - right), the gums may separate from the teeth with subsequent inflammation. Brushing your teeth should continue at least two minutes.
When should the first visit to the dentist be?
The rule here is: don't take your child to the dentist until they have a problem. This is of great importance, as it is far more stressful for a young child in pain to sit in the dentist's chair for the first time. Instead, do preventive examinations after it has reached the age of three. This way, the child will know his dentist and will be much more relaxed. The choice of a dentist is of key importance, since, in addition to being a good professional, he must have an approach to working with children. A pleasant, child-friendly environment and the way in which the child will be explained what is to come also play a huge role.
After the age of three, preventive examinations must be carried out by a dentist at least twice a year, in order to detect and cure the affected teeth in time.