Good dental care for children

It is holiday time again. This is the period parents should use to monitor and review their children’s overall wellbeing, including their dental health. When good dental care starts at an early age, the child benefits in the long run, as they are able to learn practices that help them maintain good oral hygiene.

Here are some pointers that parents should lookout for or practice, to ensure their children do not suffer from dental-related problems.

Misaligned teeth
This is a condition where the teeth do not develop the normal way. Between the age of five and six, children start developing permanent teeth, or what is known as mixed dentition. This is the stage when a child has both milk and permanent teeth at the same time. This is an important period because when the milk teeth are not removed when they should, the permanent ones end up fighting for the same space, leading to misalignment.

From the age of two when full eruption of milk teeth happens, to the age of six when mixed dentition starts, a child’s tooth should not be removed unless it is shedding by itself.

A shedding tooth is one that comes out naturally because of pressure exerted on it by the erupting permanent tooth. Removing a tooth that is shedding is what leads to most causes of teeth misaligned.

Tooth decay
Because of changes in diet, most of the foods consumed these days by children are high in sugars, which may lead to tooth decay as bacteria in the mouth usually feed on such sugars.
Therefore, ensuring that children do not consume high-sugar foods regularly can help reduce cases of decay. However, when milk teeth have cavities (holes), they can be filled before they cause decay.

Brushing teeth
Parents need to monitor their children as they brush their teeth to ensure they are doing it right. In case a parent does not know the best techniques for brushing for children, they can seek aice from the dentist.

Dental visits
Regular visits to the dentist, especially during the holiday period also ensures that by the time a child returns to school, they do not have any dental-related problems to worry about, or which could affect them in the course of the school term.

The writer is a dentist

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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