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Though your child's first set of teeth are not permanent, they are still critical to the development of healthy gums, jaws, permanent teeth, and dental hygiene habits. From first teething to the development of permanent adult teeth, you can help your child to develop and maintain strong healthy teeth and gums.
THE FIRST TEETH
The first teeth usually erupt at around 6-8 months beginning with the lower front teeth and working back towards the molars, usually in pairs. A full set of baby teeth usually appears by the age of 2.5 years and remains stable until the age of 5 or 6 when baby teeth begin to be replaced by permanent teeth
As these first teeth begin to push through the gum, your child may experience teething pain. Redness or rash on the cheeks, increased drooling, restlessness, irritability, and loss of appetite can all be indicators that your child is teething. If however your child also experiences fever, vomiting, or diarrhea you should take them to a physician as these symptoms are often caused by ailments other than teething.
Once you've established that your child is teething, you can ease their pain in a number of ways. Allowing your child to chew on a chilled teething rings or other cold hard objects can help numb the gums and cause the tooth to erupt sooner. Teething gels can also help reduce the pain through numbing and can be found in most pharmacies. Finally, you can also massage your child's gums
with a clean finger, reducing the pain with light pressure on and around the location of the erupting teeth. Teething cookies and other food (or alcohol) based home remedies are not recommended as they may lead to tooth decay caused by food debris left in the gums or new teeth.
Teething can be a trying time for parents and child alike, but it will not last forever and there are several simple effective ways to manage your child's discomfort.
FIRST DENTAL VISIT
As soon as your child has her first teeth you can begin to think about scheduling a first dental appointment. The appointment should be made on or before your child's first birthday. Before the appointment you may wish to bring your child into the dental clinic for a short tour and a chance to get acquainted with the space and the staff. If you or one of your other children has an appointment, you can bring the younger child along to help get them familiar with the clinic.
In preparation for the first visit, try not to over-prepare your child or say things like "it won't be too bad" as these behaviours often just trigger fear and nervousness rather than providing comfort. When you get to the appointment, be sure to discuss an oral health plan for your child with either the dentist or dental hygienist.
Most importantly, do not wait for an emergency to bring your child to the dentist. The additional stress of pain or injury will make an unfamiliar experience even more difficult for your child.
CHILD ORAL HEALTH CONCERNS
Though baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth as your child grows, proper maintenance of their baby teeth can not only prevent child oral health concerns and ensure healthy gums and jaws but also helps to develop good oral hygiene habits that will follow your child through life.
BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY
Allowing your baby to fall asleep while nursing or sucking on a bottle allows sugary liquids to pool around the teeth and may lead to extensive tooth decay. To ensure that tooth decay does not progress unnoticed you should check your child's teeth regularly for any brown spots along the gum line. Frowns or tears when eating cold, sweet, or hard foods may also be signs that your child is experiencing tooth decay.
Just as with adults, sugary snacking habits in children can greatly increase the likelihood of cavities and tooth decay. Foods which contain high levels of sugar or which are soft or chewy and stick to the teeth are the most harmful as they cause the natural bacteria in your child's mouth to produce high levels of acid which may erode teeth. It is also important to remember that, though more nutritionally sound, natural sugars such as those in fruit can still cause dental decay if the teeth are not brushed regularly and thoroughly.
Along with healthy eating choices, you should try to reduce your child's consumption of sugary foods that are held in the mouth for a long time such as lollipops, hard candies, etc. If your child is going to eat something sugary, it is best to pair it with a meal so that the additional saliva production helps to wash the sugar off the teeth. Generally however it is best to avoid sugary foods to prevent the formation of a sweet-tooth and choose instead healthier options such as:
- Nuts & Seeds
- Plain yogurt
- Enriched or Whole-wheat bread
- Whole grain cereal
- Plain milk
- Tossed salads
- Plain muffins
Though snacks such as raisins, dried fruits, and granola bars are healthy, they tend to stick to the teeth and so are not an ideal choice for snacks.
ORAL HYGIENE HABITS FOR CHILDREN
Even before your child's first tooth appears, you can and should begin an oral hygiene routine. Use a cloth to wipe down your baby's face and gums after every feeding. Once the first tooth appears, use a soft bristled brush to clean the tooth after every meal but do not use toothpaste as children tend to swallow most of it which can be harmful. If you are having difficulty brushing your child's teeth, you may want to try having your child lie down with their head in your lap, or have them stand in front of you with their back leaning against your body while holding a mirror so that both you and your child can see what you are doing.
Children require smaller brushes than adults and flossing should begin only when the teeth begin to touch each other. You child will likely not have the manual dexterity to brush and floss their own teeth until the age of 8 or 10. Establishing a good routine from the very beginning will help your child to get into a habit of oral hygiene.
Once your child begins brushing their own teeth, you may want to use a timer to ensure they are brushing for long enough as well as providing rewards such as stickers for regular brushing and flossing. The best way to get your child to adopt good oral hygiene habits is to model them yourself. If you and your child brush your teeth together ever morning and evening the practice is more likely to be kept up than if you expect your child to form the habit all on their own.
Dear sir I am 28 year old men. My teeth looking yellowish and also from the evening itself I am getting bad breath. I want to stop my bad breath and also wants my teeth bright. Please help me to do this.
Hi I am diabetic a n under insulin control. Right now I am suffering from pyrea having receding gums n loosened tooth. Doctor have suggested for root planning. Kindly tell me what it is n is it going to stop my pyrea problem from aggravating. I have done scaling twice b4 but it has not been of much help.
I have some Low pain and sowling in my under teeth and I don't know what I do to relax this pain. Please give me a home made solution for my pain. Please help me.
My daughter is 6 years old her molar teeth was extracted two days back due to Spoiled teeth. Her dentist says the other side molar teeth also should be removed in next month, though the other side molar teeth is good as of now he says as she has to use only that side for chewing there are chances of decaying that side too. Is it good advice? Is there no any way to protect the other molar teeth? As she can not chew anything till she gets the new one. Please help.(As of now no problem with the other side molar teeth)
Hello doctor, I have some problem my tongue two bumps have small scratch have but no pain this which problem.
Am diabetic since 1983 and I am suffering from constipation. The stool is hard like goat stool. My right foot is dead and the other is getting effected. I am using Zoryl M2 in the morning and m1 in the night, I started this medicine since 13 days ago. The sugar has gone down to 86. I want to ask you whether I should continue this medicine or I should change. Constipation is irritating and mouth gets dry it results bite on. Side of mouth Is it a saliva problem, I need your help.
My grand mother is suffering from mouth ulcer from last 5 year they are cured with medicine for 1month and again they come back she is also having constipation only by taking medicine stool is passed. Now we are using homoeo pathic same condition is there. Hlp me.
Pregnancy may bring a glow to your face, but can affect your dental health quite adversely. Thus it is important to pay attention to your dental care routine and visit your dentist regularly for checkups. Most of the changes in your dental health are due to hormonal surges that occur during pregnancy.
- Pregnancy and plaque buildup: Pregnancy can aggravate gum diseases like gingivitis. This is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and is characterized by red, swollen and bleeding gums. Pregnancy gingivitis affects of majority of pregnant women. If left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition known as periodontitis. The swelling of gums can also trigger the development of pregnancy tumours and non-cancerous growths. These tumours will usually subside on their own after delivery. However, if they interfere with eating or your dental care routine, your dentist may advise you to get it removed. A link has also been suggested between gingivitis and the delivery of premature babies by triggering the production of prostaglandins that induce an early delivery.
- What to keep in mind while visiting the dentist: Regular dental checkups are as important as your gynecological checkups. Be open with your dentist and let him know the status of your pregnancy. Dental visits are recommended in the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy. At your visit, the dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and suggest an oral care routine. Getting your teeth regularly cleaned can prevent the buildup of plaque and lower your chances of suffering from gingivitis. Regular fillings and non emergency procedures can be performed during pregnancy. However, the best time to undergo any dental procedure if you are pregnant is between the 4th and 6th month. Avoid X-rays unless in cases of emergencies when pregnant. If you need to take any form of medication or need to put under anesthesia, consult your gynecologist about the procedure. Wherever possible, try and postpone dental treatment till after delivery.
- Brushing while pregnant: Along with brushing your teeth regularly, it is also important to use the right toothpaste when pregnant. Choose fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes for your daily routine. Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can also help curb morning sickness and erase its distaste from your mouth. Flossing can also help keep your teeth healthy. Along with this, include plenty of vitamin C and B12 in your diet to prevent dental problems.