Advice Column, Health

Protecting Your Young Children’s Teeth

  • Dr Gerald B Kaplan
  • Category Advice Column, Health

It is possible for children to reach adulthood without ever experiencing tooth decay. But  to ensure this, good oral health should begin in infancy. Parents must provide this care in their  child’s early years. Later, parents will need to instruct, monitor and motivate the children to maintain good oral health habits. Children learn healthy practices from their parents, so parents must be good role models. Attitudes and habits established at  an early age are very important for  good oral health throughout one’s life.

A child’s  dental care actually begins before birth. A pregnant woman’s diet provides the nutrients required for good development of the unborn child’s  teeth. After the baby is born, good oral health of the newborn can be achieved by gently wiping their mouths and gums after every feeding, putting only water in their bedtime  bottles, and massaging the gums to comfort the child when  teething.

When a child is frequently given a bottle contains liquids with  sugar as a pacifier or sleep times, a baby bottle tooth decay can result. This serious condition can destroy the infant’s teeth. If you must give your baby a bottle bedtime, be sure it contains only water.

Brushing should begin as soon as the first tooth erupts. Parents should brush and floss a child’s teeth  daily until the child can be taught to do this alone. Then a child’s brushing and flossing should be supervised and encourage  by  parents.

Fluoride is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay in children. Fluoride protection can be obtained from the fluoridated drinking water supply, fluoride tablets or drops, fluoride toothpaste and topical fluoride treatments given at our office. Your child’s particular fluoride needs can be discussed with us.

Your child’s first dental visit should occur by the first birthday. Then visit should occur regularly was recommended by the dentist.

Sealants can provide excellent protection against tooth decay. These are clearer  shaded liquid plastics that are painted onto chewing surfaces of the children’s permanent back teeth. When combined with brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, sealants offer major protection against tooth decay.

As a child grows, you should continually encourage preventive dental care routines, such as brushing and flossing, eating a balanced diet and having regular dental checkups.  Your  child may be fortunate enough to say,  “Cavities? Never had them,never will!”

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