Permanent teeth are in direct correlation with baby teeth.
Permanent teeth need to be cared for from the time of tooth bud formation.
The child starts teething. You feel as if you are teething yourself again.
The child does not understand much of this stage, only discomfort, pain and other physical symptoms. His gums hurt. Your soul. From his first baby tooth to his permanent teeth his oral hygiene is your responsibility.
The last thing a parent wants is to see their child cry. It’s well known how cruel toothache is. An adult can hardly bear it. A child is racked with pain. Dental trauma and dentist phobia can be avoided if you make oral hygiene and caution rules of conduct.
Your child’s oral hygiene is your responsibility. Tooth decay and dental accidents happen because of parents, not because of children.
The beginning. Baby teeth
When do my toddler get baby teeth? What about permanent teeth? How do I know when his teeth are coming in?
At around 5 months, you will feel a little swelling when you touch their gums. These are tooth buds. The precursors of baby teeth. Signs of baby teeth eruption are excessive salivation, tenderness and swelling of the gums, restlessness, lack of sleep and appetite. You will notice, among all these indications, the continued tendency to nibble on objects.
The first baby teeth are usually the lower incisors. It should be noted that the eruption of baby teeth can also occur before 3 months or after 1 year. Eruption after 1 year occurs in children born prematurely.
Very important to know! The eruption of baby teeth up to three months or after 12 months is a sign of disease. Consult your pediatrician urgently! At 3 years old, your child should have all 20 of its baby teeth. There will be 32 permanent teeth (including wisdom teeth).
It is possible that the eruption may occur without the signs or manifestations mentioned above, or, on the contrary, more serious situations may occur such as: diarrhea, fever or lack of appetite.
You should be concerned when the fever is above 38.5 degrees, when your child has not eaten solid food for 3 days, when the stool is watery.
There are medical specialists who believe that this severe symptomatology does not justify a baby tooth eruption, but are signs of disease.
What should I do when baby teeth erupt?
In the case of eruption of baby teeth massage is essential. Gently massage the gums with two fingers after disinfecting with an antibacterial soap beforehand to facilitate eruption. Massage also relieves pain or itching. It may not leave you at first! Insist! It will do him a lot of good! You can also use a special glove if you want to be cautious.
Give him special toys, water rings, to chew on. You can also use them chilled in the fridge to soothe his gums! Put the slightly cooled toy on his gums. Do not give him the water rings, chilled or frozen, to play with! You risk developing a cold!
You can use analgesic gels, when the child’s suffering does not cease, and in the case of fever use anti-thermic.
In general, don’t overdo it with analgesic or anesthetic gels! Read the package leaflet recommendations carefully. Excess anesthetic may cause neurological complications or difficulty in swallowing. If your fever is higher than 38.5 degrees, ask your doctor for advice! It may be something more serious than a rash and require an antibiotic.
Keep him hydrated! Even if he doesn’t have the same appetite, don’t worry! Feed him what he likes (don’t overindulge in sweets!) and keep him hydrated!
Once his teeth erupt, he will resume his eating habits.
From what age should I brush my child’s teeth?
From the first tooth! Around the age of 5 months, your baby’s first milk tooth appears. Many children aged 1-5 years end up at the dentist with severe tooth decay due to neglect of their baby teeth. So don’t forget! Brushing starts with the first tooth!
Premature loss of baby teeth means that there is a risk that permanent teeth will not have enough room to erupt. This means that complex orthodontic treatments will later be needed to straighten the permanent teeth. Another consequence is the deformation of the remaining baby teeth.
How do I brush my baby’s teeth?
As I pointed out at the beginning, brushing starts with the first tooth. Brushing should be done vertically, from the gum to the incisal edge, on both sides of the tooth. You will also insist on the occlusal faces of the molars and premolars.
To make tooth washing a habit, oral hygiene must be a frequent and insistent occurrence. So, in the morning and evening, the child will brush their teeth with a soft toothbrush with you. You will put a pea-sized amount of baby toothpaste on his toothbrush. You will let him brush himself so that he understands that this activity is an important part of his life, but you will resume his brushing yourself.
Don’t just rely on your child’s skill! It is considered that a child does not have the skill to brush their teeth properly until they are old enough to tie their own shoelaces.
You will monitor brushing until you are sure that brushing is done properly and takes no less than 3 minutes. Although toothpaste leaflets for children are safe to swallow, it would be preferable not to swallow the paste, especially, if you are giving fluoride supplements.
We recommend a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging the gums or the fragile enamel of baby teeth. Brush the inner surfaces of the teeth first. These are areas that are highly prone to bacteria build-up and plaque formation. Then you’ll thoroughly clean the outer surface of each tooth. Careful brushing is not aggressive. Brushing is gentle and long, without heavy strokes and pressure.
Brushing vertically, from gum to tip, is the correct brushing.
Don’t just brush horizontally. With horizontal brushing, food debris collects in the interdental spaces, periodontal tissue recedes, exposing the root of the teeth, and gum massage is faulty. During brushing, gingival massage is as important as brushing itself.
Each group of teeth is cleaned, from the cheek on the buccal surfaces and from the tongue and palate on the oral surfaces.
You will reserve each group of teeth (as far as the toothbrush can cover) for 10 vertical movements. Clean the occlusal surface of each molar and, with the tip of the brush, clean behind each front tooth from root to tip. Sanitizing the oral cavity also involves cleaning the tongue, a place where bacteria are deposited.
Rinsing is last but not least. Rinsing is done 4-5 times. All these steps fall within a 3-minute time frame.
Basic rules for healthy teeth
Teeth should be brushed twice a day, in the morning and evening, with a fluoride-based toothpaste recommended by your dentist. Toothpaste removes plaque, the main cause of tooth decay. Think of these bacteria as active life forms. Cavities are not the bacteria themselves, but what they leave behind. As mentioned, brushing should be done vertically, from the gum to the edge of the tooth, for no less than 3 minutes. Teeth should be brushed persistently, but not aggressively. Persistent plaque becomes tartar. Tartar can no longer be removed by routine brushing, but only by professional brushing in the dentist’s office.
Fluoride-based hygiene products will strengthen the enamel and remove plaque. When your child is up to 5 years old and you use a fluoride toothpaste and you notice that he/she does not know how to spit or rinse his/her mouth, under no circumstances should you give fluoride supplements. Fluoridated water, fluoride in food and fluoride in toothpaste, which a child up to 5 years old will inevitably swallow, are sufficient fluoride intake.
Flossing should be introduced into oral hygiene habits from the age of 4. Flossing gets into places where a toothbrush cannot reach, the spaces between the teeth and the gum grooves. Many children already know how to floss by the age of 8.
Fluoride should be absent during the growing up period. Fluoride should be introduced into the child’s diet from birth, when mineralization of the baby teeth begins, and will be present until the age of 12 when the permanent teeth are fully developed.
Thus, the sources of fluoride are: water (also the most recommended), food (fish has the highest amount of fluoride) and food supplements (the last solution). When you go shopping, look for the water with the highest amount of fluoride. Daily consumption of fluoride-rich water is enough to strengthen tooth enamel in children.
Fluoride is a natural mineral essential for strengthening tooth enamel, especially in permanent teeth, thus protecting against tooth decay. Normally, water supplied to the population should have the required fluoride content. This is the case in some countries such as Sweden or Australia.
In Romania water with fluoride content can only be found bottled. There are therefore sources of bottled water with sufficient fluoride content to replace supplements. And it is the best option, this daily consumption of fluoridated water, as excess fluoride caused by fluoride supplements can lead to fluorosis, fluoride poisoning.
What is fluorosis?
Children’s toothpastes contain fluoride. It is known: children up to 5 years old do not know how to spit or rinse their mouth. These pastes are specially designed for children under 5 and there is no risk of poisoning if swallowed. However, if you brush your child with toothpaste and you know that they don’t spit the paste out or rinse their mouth, you won’t be giving them fluoride supplements! Fluoride-rich water and foods are sufficient.
The first signs of fluorosis are particularly white or, on the contrary, brownish areas located on the permanent teeth. The main cause is excess fluoride. Most parents do not take into account the almost inevitable swallowing of toothpaste by children under 5 years of age, the consumption of flour, present in water and food, and over-zealously administer fluoride supplements. This is when fluorosis occurs. Fluorosis starts to manifest itself around the age of 5.
How much is too much?
1mg/kg body – toxic dose
5mg/kg body (children) – 15 mg/kg body – lethal dose
Routine check-up at the dentist
A visit to the dentist does not have to be an emergency only. Baby teeth can decay. A 1-year-old child can get cavities if they have poor hygiene and inadequate nutrition. Tooth decay in children is all the more dangerous because it can compromise permanent teeth. Tooth decay progresses much faster in children than in adults. If the baby tooth is not treated in time, extraction is inevitable. In this case, orthodontic complications will arise and the permanent teeth may not erupt properly.
Take your child for a routine check-up at least once a year. There are point cavities that cannot be identified without a thorough check-up. Professional brushing can also remove plaque or tartar build-up. Toothbrushes can sometimes be ineffective in such situations. Your dentist will also show you how to brush your child’s teeth.
Healthy and balanced nutrition combats tooth decay
A diet based on vitamins, minerals, calcium, phosphorus and an adequate intake of fluoride can provide a shield against tooth decay and ensure healthy development of permanent teeth. A balanced diet, free of sugars and starches, which trigger acid production, is recommended.
Cakes, sweets, dried fruit, fizzy drinks, pretzels and crisps all produce a bacterial plaque reaction which results in acids. Acids attack tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.
However, if you and your child are accustomed to eating foods containing sugars and starches, it is preferable to eat these products during the meal rather than after the meal, when saliva secretion is higher and helps to remove food debris from the teeth. Try to stick to the three main meals and avoid ‘snacking’. Every snack, no matter how small, is an exposure to acid formation.
CALCIUM and VITAMIN D (necessary for calcium absorption from food) are two essentials for healthy permanent teeth.
Thus, milk, dairy products, eggs, bread, green vegetables, fruits are rich in calcium. Vitamin D is also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. The human body can produce this vitamin when exposed to sunlight. All children up to the age of 18 months should receive vitamin D daily, even in summer, and after this age, up to the age of 12-15 years, only in the cold season.
To be on the safe side, an innovative technique called dental sealing is quite often performed. Dental sealing is done on permanent teeth with a resinous substance designed to protect the surface of the back teeth (molars and premolars), which naturally have grooves and pits where bacteria easily settle and toothbrushes become insufficient. In children, the first cavities on permanent teeth appear in these hidden areas. The sealing substance is applied to the occlusal (masticatory) surfaces, protecting the permanent teeth from bacterial action.
Dental sealants are not a substitute for tooth brushing. It is just an extra measure of protection for permanent teeth against decay.
Accidents. Cracking, breaking or pulling out of the tooth
These dangers become latent from the first steps and the first tooth. Often, your caution is not enough. What do you do in such a case? You will go immediately to the dentist. In case of pain, you can give a painkiller until the dentist comes. It would be advisable to keep the piece of broken tooth to give to the dentist.
If the permanent teeth have been mobilized or pulled out completely, go to the dentist immediately. The permanent teeth will not be touched or cleaned, but kept in cold milk or cold water until you get to the doctor.
A complex procedure called re-implantation makes it possible, in certain circumstances, for permanent teeth to recover by being placed back in the socket.
Brushing your teeth: a healthy game
Don’t forget to make this routine activity fun and playful. Make brushing your teeth a healthy game! Give your child a set of toothbrushes from which he can choose his favorite. Your child should not see brushing as a chore, but as a healthy game every morning and evening. You will brush your teeth with him. In time, brushing your teeth will become a reflex, so that your baby’s permanent teeth will be properly cared for.
Don’t neglect this activity, which many parents treat as insignificant. In your relationship with your child, you are a leader and a role model.
Baby teeth and permanent teeth – their eruption on the dental arch. Animation.