This article emphasizes that adequate care of the milk teeth till the child reaches 15 years will reduce many possible dental problems and save you money later!!! Please read the article to know more.
All dental problems which are found in an average human being can be prevented if proper, timely intervention is done. Every child should be made familiar with a dentist at an early age and not just when he is having pain or discomfort. A child should be brought to a dentist for the first time at the age of 1 so that he gets used to a dentist and develops a positive attitude towards future treatment needs.
By the first year, his milk teeth would have started growing and needs to be taken care of to prevent early childhood caries (tooth decay). The parents should be given proper guidelines on how to care for their child's dental health and stay healthy.
Every 6 months, it is necessary to consult a dentist till your child reaches the age of 5 years so that small caries, if they develop, can be treated initially, thereby preventing future problems. After 5 years of age, it would be necessary to take him to a dentist once a year to check for his jaw growth and rule out any other conditions. The jaw growth occurs at this growing stage. Early diagnosis of jaw problems (like forwardly placed jaws) can help in correction at this age. This early correction helps in avoiding jaw surgeries at later stages.
The front teeth will start shedding by the age of 6-8 years. So, parents should ask the dentist about their kid's progress from deciduous dentition (milk teeth) to permanent dentition and take necessary treatment like removal of loose teeth and sealing of small cavities of the permanent molar tooth which erupts at the age of 6 years.
Sealing of deep pits and fissures in permanent teeth is done with pit and fissure sealants to prevent future decay of the teeth.
The retained milk teeth which interrupt the path of eruption of the permanent teeth have to be removed. The removal of retained milk teeth is helpful in guiding the eruption of permanent teeth because the retained milk teeth cause improper positioning of the erupting permanent teeth. Timely removal at this stage reduces the need for orthodontic treatment (wire braces) at later stages.
Hence, adequate care of the milk teeth till the child reaches 15 years of age will reduce many possible dental problems and save you money later!!! Prevention is always better than cure.
Children should brush their teeth twice daily.
The best way to prevent cavities is regularly brushing the teeth twice a day.
Brush the teeth for at least two minutes a day (adults and children).
Brushing for 2 minutes a day will remove the germs and accumulated food particles from the teeth and gums. Also, floss the teeth regularly, which will maintain a good oral care routine.
Flossing clears the food debris and bacteria between the teeth.
Children can also start using floss as soon as they develop teeth.
Parents play an important role in the preparation of the child for a dental visit and also in the behavior which the child will exhibit at the time of appointment. Some of the common but necessary things which parents must perform before the child's appointment are,
Before the dental visit, ask the dentist about the procedures of the first appointment so that you can explain your child at the earliest.
Talk to the child about what to expect and build excitement as well as understanding about the upcoming visit.
Bring with you the records of the child's complete medical history to the appointment.
Prenatal Health - Parents should be given counseling before the baby is born on how to provide an environment that will help the child with good oral health habits. Prenatal counseling is effective because, during this period, the parents are more open to health information for their children than during any other time.
Infant - It is generally recommended that parents begin clearing their child's mouth by the time the first tooth erupts. Parents can wrap a damp washcloth or a piece of gauze around their index finger and start cleaning their teeth and gum pads once daily. When more teeth erupt, the parent can begin using a small soft toothbrush. At this age, toothpaste is not needed, and it may interfere with visibility for the parent.
Toddler - Toddlers start to develop more teeth, so parents should start brushing systematically by beginning in one area (separate the teeth into sections) of the mouth and progressing in an orderly fashion. This is best established by using a damped, soft-bristled toothbrush. When adjacent teeth come in contact, parents should begin to floss in these areas.
Early School-Age Children - As they are beginning to develop the necessary skill, early school-aged children should be encouraged to attempt brushing and flossing routinely. The parents should also provide a thorough plaque removal for the child each evening before bed. After the plaque removal procedure, the child should also be taught the removal of staining by the disclosing solution. The child should be praised for their work.
Adolescent Child - The children between 11 to 15 years of age will start developing the responsibility of self-hygiene. They should be taught to do brushing and flossing by themselves. After each procedure, the child should be praised so that it will motivate them to do it regularly.
Caries in children are the most prevalent health problem, particularly in children whose families are poor. Brush your teeth twice daily using a toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride of 1000 to 1500 ppm. Take a minimal amount of toothpaste, ensure it is not swallowed, and always make the children brush their teeth under adult supervision. It is better if the child gets a professional application of fluoride varnish twice yearly. Applying pit and fissure sealants in deep pits and fissures are recommended because glass ionomer cement controls the moisture and is not feasible in young children and partially erupted teeth. In case when moisture control is possible for particular teeth, resin sealant may be applied. All these measures help the child to prevent future problems and further spread of disease.
Last reviewed at:
06 Jun 2022 - 4 min read
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