Dental care for children starts in the mothers womb. A healthy pregnancy leads to a healthy development of the childs teeth. The pregnant mother has to partake of the right amount of vitamins and minerals in her diet. It is essential to take care of baby teeth that play an important role in building the childs speech and chewing habits. Deciduous teeth fall out to give space to permanent teeth.
- Wiping the gums: The infants gums should be massaged and cleaned every day even before the eruption of the first tooth. A damp gauze or cloth can be used for the purpose.
- Brushing: Once the teeth have erupted and set in, they have to be brushed twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Dental visits: Permanent teeth are positioned right beneath the childs baby teeth. Children who develop cavities in their primary teeth develop cavities as adults too. Once the permanent teeth set in, it is important to clean them every day to avoid decay. A visit to the dentist to assess the health of the teeth has to be done on a regular basis.
- Understanding the need for dental care: A child has to be taught to brush as early as 2 years of age with a small dab of toothpaste. Check with the dental health care provider if the child requires oral fluoride to strengthen teeth.
- Nutrition: Diet and nutrition play a very important role in fostering healthy teeth. Excessive levels of carb-rich foods can cause sugar to settle in the mouth thus allowing the growth of bacteria. These bacteria create acid that gnaws away at the enamel of the teeth. Saliva in the mouth gets rid of bacteria in between teeth. So a continuous eating habit (like snacking without a break) may actually encourage the growth of bacteria.
Dr. Renju Anil is an accomplished dentist who provides dental health care consultations for infants, children and teenagers. She states that poor nutrition and painful tooth infections are some of the primary causes of decay leading to impaired speech development, and subsequently poor self-image.