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Dental Care

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Dental Care

image 508Healthy and strong teeth are an important part of child health. Children's teeth start to develop before they are born. There are two sets of teeth first is milk teeth and second is permanent teeth. Milk teeth have an important part to play in the development of the permanent teeth, so it is very important to look after them. Milk teeth are very small, and any decay on a primary tooth is a concern. Permanent teeth usually start to erupt at the age of six. Adults have up to 32 permanent teeth. Most of these will erupt by the age of 13. Permanent teeth press on the roots of the milk teeth.

Children's teeth are very sensitive and need care. Most pediatric dentists will conform that everyday dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year for most children. Several children may require more frequent evaluations and care. For babies should clean teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby's toothbrush. Brush your child's teeth using toothpaste that contains fluoride twice a day, in the morning and before going to sleep at night. Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle and check teeth regularly for spots or stains. Good eating habits are also key in good dental health.

Sugar sticks to teeth and causes decay. Be certain to stick to healthy foods and snacks. Stay away from candy and sugars. Brush your child's teeth 2 to 3 times a day to cure plaque and tartar buildup. And never let your child take milk or juice to bed in a bottle or cup. The decreased swallowing while sleeping permits the sugars from these liquids to sit on the teeth causing serious decay. Other good dental health habits include do not put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice. Regular professional cleanings and fluoride treatments are also very beneficial.

Sealants can cure tooth rot on the masticating surfaces of molars where four out of five cavities occur. Some children require more support than a soft, caring method to feel cozy during dental treatment. Restraint or mild sedation may profit your special child. Forming good habits at a young age can help your child have well teeth for life. Healthy teeth not only have powerful enamel and a lack of decay, but they are also well aligned. Healthy teeth mean that the child is skill to eat a healthy diet, and aids the development of the jaw. This can affect facial appearance and speech development.

Pampers® and the Tooth Fairy: Join forces to care for baby’s first teeth

After weeks of watching baby drool and fuss, the first little tooth bud pops up through the gums. Leading nappy brand, Pampers®, understands all too well how enormously important healthy teeth are to a baby's overall health. Baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth. Without a healthy set of milk teeth, young children will experience trouble chewing and forming words and sounds, when learning to speak. They also affect the way a child's jaw grows. The renowned Pampers® Institute, comprising of a panel of social experts and medical specialists within the field of childcare, turns to leading paediatric dentist, Dr Imraan Hoosen, to shares some top tips on caring for baby’s first pearly whites.

Teething troubles:
Generally, teeth start appearing between four months and seven months of age, but every baby is different. The first teeth to appear are usually the two bottom front teeth. Some babies are also born with teeth. Named natal teeth, they occur in approximately one in every 2,000 to 3,000 births. These teeth normally develop on the lower gum, are attached with soft tissue and do not have strong roots.
Teething may be painless, but sometimes, can make babies uncomfortable and fussy. Teething does not cause a fever. A child’s discomfort can be relieved through offering a cold teething ring or a cold washcloth to chew or suck on, as well as rubbing the gum with a clean finger. Dr Hoosen advises against administering baby aspirin. “Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome, a serious illness that can lead to death in children under 18 years of age.”

Caring for baby's gums:
Dr Hoosen advises that parents commence caring for baby's gums right away. “At first, the care will not involve a toothbrush and toothpaste. Instead, use a soft, moistened washcloth or piece of gauze to gently wipe baby's gums at least twice a day. Especially wipe gums after feedings and before bedtime.”
This process will wash off bacteria and prevent the microorganisms from clinging to a child’s gums. “Bacteria can leave behind a sticky plaque that damages infant teeth as they erupt.”

Brushing first teeth:
When the first baby teeth start to appear, a soft toothbrush with a small head and large handle should be used. “At first, just wet the toothbrush. At around the age of one year, parents can begin using a pea-sized amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste. Wait to introduce fluoride toothpaste until children are at least two years old. Brush gently all around the baby teeth -- front and back.”
Dr Hoosen warns parents to stay vigilant for any signs of baby tooth decay -- brown or white spots or pits on the teeth. “Even if there are no visible problems, children should attend their first pediatric dentist visit by the age of one year.”

A tooth fairy’s worst nightmare:
Dental care plays an important role for health and appearance, both in childhood and throughout adult life. Tooth decay affects children all over the world and if left untreated, can lead to problems that can interfere with a child’s learning. Dr Hoosen shares the most common causes of irresponsible dental care, which he encounters within his dental practices:

  • Parents allowing babies to sleep with bottles filled with milk or juice causes multiple tooth decay; this often leads to baby requiring multiple extractions in theatre.
  • Parents perpetuating an unhealthy diet, which is high in refined sugar, fizzy drinks and undiluted juice.
  • Parents allowing older children to play contact sports without a mouth guard.

Word of caution:
Dr Hoosen adds that early loss of baby teeth due to decay and more, can have an impact on the position of eruption, of the permanent teeth. Furthermore, if a child's first encounter with a dentist is when he or she is in pain, they could associate the dentist with a negative experience, for future dental visits.
In closing, Dr Hoosen reminds parents that maintaining healthy mouths and oral habits within the home, is paramount to ensuring a winning smile, to last a lifetime.

For further in-depth information from Pampers®’ Expert Panel, specific to taking optimum care of baby’s first teeth, please visit www.pampers.co.za.

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