Today our children have got better opportunities to preserve their smile for the future and all this is possible because of preventive dentistry for children. Preventive dentistry is a hostile approach towards oral health and focusing on the overall health, prevention and not just the treatment. It is ideally needed for children and infants whose gums and teeth are still under the development phase and need extra attention for a better self esteem in future.
Even before the child develops the first teeth, it is important to clean the gums and the mouth with a damp cloth. You can easily do that with your finger because sleeping with milk, juice or baby food containing sugar is not recommended.
What is Preventive Dentistry And Why Needed
Preventive dentistry is an ultimate way to healthy smile and dental care of especially children include dietary habits and proper nutrition, brushing followed by flossing, regular check ups, fluoride, assessing dental cavities, dental education, protection against injury, knowledge of oral hygiene and sealants. All this is important for a healthy smile, this is not only important for healthy eating but to speak well too. Preventive dentistry means less expensive and less extensive form of dental treatment by preventing it from getting worse.
When to Start Brushing
Parents should assist their kids in brushing till the age of seven and it should begin since the first teeth appears. Extra-soft bristle toothbrush should be used and in case the teeth touch each other, using of floss is advisable.
Drinking milk from bottle should be weaned as the child reaches 12-14 months of age. This will avoid regular contact of teeth with milk or water.
Role of Parents in Preventive Dentistry
Parents must take the oral health of their children very seriously, in case of cavity or tooth decay you must consult a pediatric dentist who will assist you with a personalized program that can be taken care at home itself. The program includes brushing, flossing instructions, diet management and fluoride recommendation.
Fluoride and Fluorosis
A naturally existing element Fluoride is helpful in preventing cavities and strengthening tooth enamel. Children can get fluoride in various forms and the most common of all are through water, fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride treatment and in the form of supplements like pastilles and tablets. The supplements are advised to children who are at a higher risk of cavity but are given only after complete examination.
Care must be taken that the kids do not swallow toothpaste that contains fluoride else it can result in dental fluorosis. While making use of such toothpaste, mouth should be carefully rinsed and any white stains on the teeth should be reported to the doctor.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is basically tooth infection that takes the form of cavities and it could be because of sugary food, carbohydrates, lack of brushing, bacterial growth. You can get help from the pediatric dentist who can help you prevent cavities by inducing healthy habits to avoid harmful bacteria.
Xylitol Works Well For Infants and Children
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry(AAPD) have recognized the benefits of Xylitol on teeth and gums of infants and children. It can actually help up to 60 % reduction of cavities and can be consumed in its natural form like mushrooms, berries, fruits, hardwoods, lettuce, corn cobs etc. Chewing of gums containing xylitol 3 times a day can improve oral health effectively.