Oral health is essential for children’s development and well-being.
Early education about caring for teeth and gums is important for preventing long-term dental problems. In this article, we present some important recommendations for maintaining oral health in children.
Start dental care from 6 months of age
Parents should start their children’s dental care as early as 6 months of age. This includes cleaning the gums and tongue with a soft cloth or toothbrush without toothpaste. After the first baby teeth appear, brushing should begin with a soft toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste to prevent accidental swallowing.
It is important that children are brought to the dentist as early as one year old. These visits should become a habit and be made at least once a year. By making regular visits to the dentist, children will be taught about the importance of oral hygiene and will be examined for possible dental problems.
A balanced and healthy diet contributes to children’s general and oral health. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, which can lead to tooth decay. Replace them with calcium-rich foods such as cheese and yoghurt, which help strengthen teeth.
Fluoridation helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay. In some areas, tap water is fluoridated, but if this is not the case, a fluoride toothpaste can be used. It is important to follow the recommended dose of fluoride for your child’s age.
Protection against dental trauma
To prevent dental trauma, it is important to avoid dangerous activities such as jumping on a trampoline or playing sports without proper protective equipment. If your child suffers a dental injury, it is important to consult a dentist immediately.
Dental problems in adults very often originate in childhood.
Whether it’s unlearned or untimely oral hygiene rules, indifference to oral health or lack of information, patients suffer.
Thus, premature tooth loss, excessive tooth decay or occlusal problems can be prevented by adopting minimum dental hygiene rules early, as soon as the first temporary teeth erupt.
In childhood, until around the age of 7, the importance of parents in maintaining their child’s oral hygiene is universally recognised.
The child is not aware of the usefulness of this act of cleaning teeth, nor does he or she have the necessary manual skills to do it himself or herself, and can quickly become bored.
Teeth are divided into temporary or baby teeth and permanent, permanent teeth. From the age of 6 months, your baby’s temporary teeth start to erupt.
These will be replaced by permanent teeth from the age of 6. There is a close link between the two sets of teeth.
Thus, misalignment of the temporary teeth leads to malposition of the permanent teeth and pathological processes in the baby teeth are transmitted to the permanent teeth.
Recommendations for parents of children up to one year old
It is recommended that the gums are baked with a clean, damp piece of gauze twice a day to remove any traces of food debris. It is the first act that can be done by the mother, just before the first teeth erupt at the arch.
As soon as the first teeth erupt, it is advisable to clean them with soft toothbrushes specially adapted for babies. This can be repeated once a day and to make the whole process easier, the baby can be placed on its back on the mother’s lap.
It is preferable to avoid giving sweet liquids to the baby until the age of one. By eliminating sugar from the baby’s diet, the resident bacteria of the oral cavity are deprived of their main food source and their development is minimized.
It is recommended to avoid juices in the child’s diet. If your baby asks for a bottle before bedtime, milk or juice can be replaced by water.
Recommendations for children up to 4 years
At this age, the child has temporary teeth. The child should be taken regularly to the dentist for check-ups in order to detect any pathology early.
The child should learn the “rule of 2”, which is to brush twice a day for two minutes. Another option is to listen to one of their favorite songs while brushing. This motivates your child to appreciate the time it takes to brush.
The child should be supervised during brushing and corrected whenever necessary. Patience is the key to getting your child used to dental hygiene habits. This activity can involve the whole family to set an example and liven up the atmosphere.
Particular attention should be paid to the junction of the gum and tooth, i.e. the socket area. Young children tend to miss that area and the risk of developing cavities increases.
Children’s oral health is important for their overall development and well-being. Parents need to be involved in their children’s oral care from an early age and ensure that children follow a regular dental care routine.
It is important to visit the dentist at least once a year and to avoid sugary foods that can cause tooth decay. Fluoridation and protection against dental trauma are also essential for maintaining children’s oral health.
Good oral health contributes to a better quality of life and greater self-confidence for children.