The foundation for healthy permanent teeth in children and teenagers is laid during the first years of life. Poor diet, poor habits of food intake and inadequate tooth brushing habits during the first 2 years of life have been shown in several studies to be related to tooth decay in children. The development of caries in primary teeth further increases the risk of developing caries in permanent teeth.
Therefore it is essential to establish a proper oral hygiene routine early in life to help ensure the development of strong and healthy teeth. Parents, as consistent role models, are key for setting a daily routine and to making their children understand the importance of oral hygiene. Tooth brushing should be presented as a habit and an integral part of the daily hygiene routine. Children are very sensitive to social stimuli such as praise and affection, and learn best by imitating their parents. Physiological and mental development affects the oral care of children.
In addition to good oral hygiene, diet also plays a key role in keeping teeth healthy. In this respect it is not only the quantity of sugar that is important, but also the frequency of consumption. As much as possible, children should be limited in the amount of sweets between meals, especially in the evening or at night.
How to prevent cavities in kid’s teeth
Helping to prevent tooth decay and cavities in children starts with teaching them proper brushing habits and helping to take care of their teeth from a young age.
1. Check with your dental professional to determine when you should begin using a fluoride toothpaste on your children.
2. Visit their dentist every 6 months for a checkup.
3. Be sure your child brushes for at least 2 minutes, twice a day. Ensure they pay extra attention to their back teeth, as that is where the most plaque buildup occurs.
4. As soon as their teeth begin to touch, help them floss on a daily basis.
First Dental Visit
The Canadian Dental Association recommends the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his or her teeth. In most cases, a dental exam every six months will let your child’s dentist catch small problems early.
Thumb sucking and Pacifiers
It is normal for babies to suck because it helps them relax.
By the time your child is two or three years of age, he or she has less need to suck. If your child still likes to suck, a soother is better than sucking a thumb. Why? Because you can control when and how your child uses a soother. You can’t control a thumb going into the mouth.
Never put sugar, honey or corn syrup on a soother. They can cause cavities. It’s best to get your child to stop sucking before permanent teeth come in, at about age five. If a child keeps sucking a soother or thumb after the permanent teeth have come in, it could cause problems with how the jaw and teeth grow.
Sedation Dentistry for Children
Dentists have expertise in providing anxiety and pain control for their patients. While anxiety and pain can be modified by psychological techniques, in many instances pharmacological approaches are required.
The use of inhalational sedation with nitrous oxide and oxygen is both effective and generally safe. Such sedation may reduce anxiety, provide some analgesia and help the child to sit still for treatment.2 It may also help the child accept procedures perceived as unpleasant, such as injection of local anesthetic. Ideally, the patient is conscious and able to respond normally to verbal commands, with stable vital signs and no significant risk of losing protective reflexes, and able to return to pretreatment state right after the gas has been retrieved out of their system.