It may be interesting to know that children’s teeth begin forming early during the fetal age. It is at this stage when it is important for the mother-to-be to have a healthy diet in order to provide the necessary nutrients for her unborn child. Teeth development is very important at this stage. Calcium and phosphorous, which are found in milk and other dairy products, are important for a pregnant woman to remember when she is following a diet. Vitamin C and D are also important during this time.
According to “Kaiser Permanente Healthwise Handbook,” children should have their first dental visit by the age of two or three. It is also recommended that they have checkups and cleaning every six months.
Parents may think that it is not that important to take care of “baby teeth” and feel that they will wait until the permanent teeth come in. This is a false assumption. Robert H. Pantell, M.D. in his book, “Taking Care of Your Child”, believes that although baby teeth are lost and replaced by permanent teeth, severe damage to baby teeth can cause dental pain and potential loss of permanent teeth. Also, losing baby teeth prematurely can result in permanent teeth coming in crooked.
Parents should brush their children’ s teeth for the first four to five years. After this, a child should have enough dexterity to take care of their own teeth. Once a child starts brushing his/her own teeth, A good teaching method is to have the child brush in the morning and the parent brush at night until this skill is mastered.
In order to prevent cavities, several toothpastes have been recommended by the American Dental Association. This depends upon the amount of fluoride in these toothpastes. In the book, “Taking Care of Your Child,” it is recommended that it is important that tooth paste should be approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) because some toothpastes may contain caustic material that may gradually wear out the tooth enamel. It is also important for your child to enjoy the taste of the toothpaste in order to reinforce brushing as a pleasurable experience.
Soft toothbrushes are recommended. It is also suggested in “Taking Care of Your Child,” that brushing vertically is not recommended.
Dental flossing is not recommended for children with their first teeth as it can be an unpleasant experience. However, once children have developed their permanent teeth, they should be encouraged to use dental floss.
What’s known as water jets is considered to be another effective way of removing particles from between the teeth. It is well to be prepared in advance to know that some children are frightened by the noise of the water jet.
Source: The book, “Taking Care of Your Child” by Robert H. Pantell, M.D.
“Kaiser Permanente, Healthwise Handbook”, Chapter, “Dental Care for Children”