Child’s visit to the dentist

For young children, visits to the dentist’s office can be stressful and anxiety-producing.

Whether it is a child who has suffered from previous treatments, or from decay or trauma that causes pain, most children protest when they have to go to the dentist.

Parents also need to be well informed when looking for a doctor to treat their child’s dental injuries. Pedodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with treating a child’s dental problems.

The pediatric dentist is specially trained to fit and take care of children’s oral health.

In order to get your child used to dental appointments, he or she needs to know and become familiar with the dentist from the time the first teeth appear.

Regular check-ups with the dentist also help to detect incipient destructive lesions and to intercept dental abnormalities.

Baby teeth eruption and oral hygiene

Baby teeth begin to erupt around 6 months of age, with variations depending on genetic background, local conditions or the association of abnormalities.

However, the oral cavity of your baby is a reservoir of bacteria even before the teeth erupt, so it should be sanitized with sterile gauze twice a day. Some doctors recommend swabbing the gauze on the oral mucosa just after each meal to minimize the concentration of carbohydrates, the bacteria’s food source.

When the mother is breastfeeding, the milk’s constituents have principles that play a role in protecting against bacterial attack.

With the introduction of a varied diet containing other products in addition to breast milk, an imbalance in the oral flora may occur. Some foods contain significant amounts of hydrocarbons which promote bacterial adhesion and multiplication. This makes oral hygiene even more important.

Prophylaxis and hygiene

Brushing children’s teeth can begin with the eruption of the first teeth, with the proviso that the brush used must have very soft bristles that are atraumatic to the child’s gums and teeth.

Toothpaste is not allowed to be used on very young children, but from the age of 3, there are toothpastes specially designed for young children, without fluoride. Fluoride toothpastes can also be used from the age of 6.

The most important thing for parents is to know that brushing at night, before bedtime, after the last meal is crucial in preventing tooth decay.

Also, bottle-feeding sweet liquids at night should be avoided.

The child’s low salivary flow at night is no longer able to clean the sugar-laden tooth surfaces and, as a consequence, enamel demineralization occurs with the development of caries.

The child should be informed from an early age that he or she will be going to the dentist to heal and protect his or her teeth.

The child must be told about the procedures, the medical team and the therapeutic act in a way that the family and the doctor understand, in order to gain the doctor’s trust.

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