Although tooth decay is a serious problem, it can be prevented to a great extent. Children who need treatment or have toothache may experience infection, pain, difficulty in sleeping, eating and socializing. There may be cases of not being able to attend school. Parents must take their children to the hospital or dentist in these situations.
Oral health is an important aspect of children’s general health and school readiness. Obesity is seen as a sign of wider social and health issues, including malnutrition. Considering that excessive sugar intake and social deprivation are risk factors for both conditions, tooth decay and obesity are likely to be seen together.
Although the belief that the milk tooth comes to be the new one, which has been said about children’s first teeth since the past, is now changing, parents have started to become increasingly aware of the importance of milk teeth. First of all, milk teeth are important for chewing first. Children with tooth decay and discomfort suffer from pain while eating. In this way, the insufficient nutrition begins. It has been observed that many children with developmental and growth disorders are fed adequately due to tooth decay.
Premature loss of deciduous teeth causes incorrect positioning of the tongue in children. As a result, speech disorders and wrong swallowing habits are acquired. Until permanent teeth erupt, milk teeth are important for preserving their place. The teeth in the formation of the jaw continue until a certain age according to the root development. The distance they will last in the mouth until this time is preserved thanks to the milk teeth. Otherwise, premature loss of milk teeth will occur. Orthodontic problems occur in the patient.
Especially during school periods, milk teeth are important for the psychology of children. It has been observed that children who are embarrassed because of the bad appearance of tooth decay do not want to go to school. A disease or genetic conditions experienced during the development of teeth cause permanent teeth to be missing in some patients. In such cases, it uses milk teeth for treatment.
You can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste at the age of two. Before you start, ask your Doctor or Dentist.
Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks. Schedule regular dental checkups with your dentist. Establishing good habits at a young age will help your child have healthy teeth for life.
Preventing Tooth Decay in Children
Every child with a tooth is actually at risk of tooth decay. However, effective interventions prevent this situation from occurring. We can list the steps that can be taken for this as follows:
- Soft toothbrushes made of nylon bristles suitable for children’s mouth sizes should be used.
- When the paste and brushes are in different comic book characters and colors, the desire and motivation to brush teeth increase in children.
- It should not be forgotten that children love the taste of toothpaste and may swallow it while brushing. It is a better choice not to use toothpaste for children under 3 years old.
- You can accompany your children with a separate toothbrush while they brush their teeth. First, you can let you brush your teeth, then you can brush theirs.
- You can create a toothbrushing board in your home and make markings together on the board after each brushing.
- The hourglass can be inverted with each brushing by placing an hourglass in the bathroom. This way, you can set a 2-minute brushing time.
- It should not be forgotten that children do not know anything about tooth decay. It is important to show them how they form a layer on their teeth in the mirror by feeding them chocolate and biscuits with sticky properties. You can then brush his teeth and prove him in the mirror how white, clean and beautiful his teeth are.
- You should support your children to overcome their fear of dentists. You should introduce your children to the dentist at the age of 2.5 at the latest. You can make the first appointment with a 2.5-3 year old baby dentist who has no oral problems by showing only their teeth. At the same time, this situation minimizes the prevention of tooth fear.
- If you rinse your child after eating candy, you can at least get the first step towards brushing teeth. Food and currents sticking to your teeth dissolve in water and food can no longer be a problem.
Healthy teeth are as important as children’s dental health in general health. Since your child is born, there are some things you should do to develop healthy teeth and prevent cavities. For babies, you should clean the teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby’s toothbrush. Avoid putting the baby down with a bottle and check for stains on the teeth regularly.
Teaching your child the right oral care rules at an early age is an important investment you will make for his or her health. By taking good care of your own teeth, you can give the message that oral health is important and set a good example for your child. By brushing your own teeth with your child or letting them choose their own toothbrushes, you can make oral and dental care fun and encourage oral care.
To help protect your children’s teeth and gums and reduce the risk of caries, you can teach the following information:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) to remove the plaque-adhesive film on the teeth, which is the main cause of tooth decay.
- Before the plaque hardens and becomes tartar, floss between teeth once a day to remove plaque from under the gum line and between your teeth.
- Adopt a balanced diet that restricts starchy or sugary foods that cause tooth decay and form plaque acids. When consuming these foods, try to consume them with your meal rather than with snacks – the extra saliva produced during eating helps clean up the food in the mouth.
- Use fluoride-containing products such as toothpaste.
- Make sure that the water your children drink is fluorinated. If your mains, well, or bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride, your dentist or pediatrician may prescribe daily fluoride supplements.
- Take your child to the dentist for regular dental check-ups.
When Should My Child Start Using Dental Floss?
Dental floss should be used from the age of 4 because it removes food particles and plaque between teeth that cannot be cleaned with a brush. Many children can start using dental floss on their own by the age of 8.
How Important Is Nutrition For My Child’s Oral Health?
For the formation of strong, decay-resistant teeth, your child needs a balanced diet. In addition to all types of vitamins and minerals, your child’s diet should contain large amounts of calcium, phosphorus, and appropriate levels of fluoride.
While fluoride is your child’s greatest protector against tooth decay, frequent eating junk can be their worst enemy. Sugars and starches found in many foods and snacks, such as cookies, candies, dried fruit, soft drinks, pretzels and potato chips, combine with plaque on teeth and form acids.
These acids attack tooth enamel and can cause cavities.
Each “plaque attack” can last up to 20 minutes after the meal or snack is finished. Even a small bite of food can form plaque acids. Therefore, it is best to restrict snacks between meals.
If there is any injury to your child’s mouth, you should contact your dentist immediately. The dentist will examine the affected area and determine the appropriate treatment. If your child is suffering from a broken or cracked tooth, you should see the dentist immediately. Until they leave, you may want to give your child an over-the-counter pain reliever. If possible, save the broken piece of tooth and take it to the dentist.
If the tooth is completely out of the mouth, take it to the dentist as soon as possible. Handle the tooth as little as possible – do not wipe or otherwise clean the tooth. Keep the tooth in water or milk until you go to the dentist. It may be possible to reinsert the tooth in your child’s mouth. This process is called reimplantation.