How to care for your child’s teeth.
Learning how to care for child’s baby teeth is an integral part of your child’s general health From this day forward you have the responsibility of nurturing this little person growing inside you
Did you know that baby teeth( the ones we loose) begin developing around 8 weeks of pregnancy, and their permanent successors ( the ones we don’t loose) begin around 5 months in utero.
This means that sometimes before we are even aware that we are pregnant, the first teeth are already forming.
It is important that we eat well and look after ourselves during pregnancy. Several medications can pass the placenta and effect the forming tooth the most common one being tetracycline , which we no longer prescribe to expectant Mums, some people will have suffered the effects of tetracycline staining, as I’ve certainly seen it, in my practicing lifetime.
Baby or deciduous teeth begin to erupt about six months old, and can cause symptoms which may include drooling, red cheeks and nappy rash, as well as general grouchiness. Some children sail through teething and others struggle.It is okay to introduce pain medication to help Please seek help and advice from your Dr or Pharmacist
This is nature, however and no hard and fast time line prevails, some children cut teeth very early, and some much later, 3 months to one year
The moment the teeth enter the mouth they are susceptible to tooth decay, form the oral bacteria and sugar intake. The teeth need to be cleaned from the onset. This is sometimes easiest with a cotton facecloth, which can be used to wipe the teeth, twice a day. Introducing a small toothbrush as the child becomes more able .
Adult supervision is essential until they are about 7 or 8 years old, as the manual dexterity required to manipulate a toothbrush, develops around the same time as the skill of joined up writing
The importance of baby teeth.
Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth, they not only hold space for the developing adult teeth, but they play an important role in biting and chewing food, speech development and physical appearance. It is important to teach your child from an early age the importance of a good healthy diet and good oral hygiene habits.
Some ideas for healthy snack options are:
- raw vegetables
- plain bagels
- plain crackers
- Pretzels( low salt)
- nuts and seeds
Limit the sugar intake to mealtimes, as the acid level will fall after a sugar exposure and stay at a cavity forming pH for approx an hour so the frequency will have a far worse effect than the quantity, simply put one lolly will do as much damage as the whole bag so confine sugar to meal times, encouraging smart snacks form the above list. http://www.colgate.com.au/en/au/oc/oral-health
Sugar in solution is the worst so avoid juices, except at mealtimes.
Watch out for natural sugars too. I hear patients telling me that they opt for natural sugars as a healthy alternative. Keep in mind that brown sugar, honey molasses and syrups also react with plaque bacteria to form cavities.