First dental health is a very important factor for the health and proper development of a child. Without healthy teeth, there is no proper development of the jaws, speech, chewing, and thus no digestion, which threatens the health of the child. Damaged and diseased milk teeth can compromise the development of permanent teeth. Impaired aesthetics can very affect the psychological and social development of toddlers.
Below, read more about all that is important for first dental health
Symptoms of tooth eruption
During the process of sprouting the gums above the growing teeth are painful and swollen. This is the main reason why babies are more irritable than usual. They usually start biting their fingers or a toy to reduce the pressure that has arisen in their gums. They may refuse food and drink because of the pain. Many babies have increased saliva and rash may occur around the mouth, face, chin or chest. An elevated temperature may also occur. These symptoms occur 3-5 days before the tooth appears in the mouth and stops as soon as the tooth pierces the gums.
You can use a variety of aids to help reduce these symptoms:
- Rubber snack ring – filled with water and kept in the refrigerator (not in the freezer) to cool. Cold things are pleasant in this period as they reduce pain;
- Cold food & drink – chilled yogurt, fruits, and vegetables help during this period. You can cut bread or bun into cubes or barbells and freeze. This is convenient for a baby to nibble on as it cools and the edges of the bread massage the gums. It is also possible to freeze a variety of fruits such as banana or peach;
- Chilled items – you can chill a spoon, a towel or any other cloth that your child would chew on. Parents can also rub their sore spot with their fingers because it pleases the baby. These objects and hands must be clean so that no infection occurs. It often happens that small sores occur at the site of sprouting due to bacteria being introduced by biting various things. During this period, children are more susceptible to infection because their immune system is impaired.
When and how should tooth brushing begin?
Tooth brushing can begin even before the first tooth sprouts by wiping the baby’s gums with a wet gauze. Teeth should be brushed at least in the morning and in the evening. Different rubber or silicone thimbles can be used for this purpose, which can be purchased at pharmacies and children’s equipment stores, but ordinary gauze also has the same function. Gauze can be used for up to 2 years.
The toothbrush can be slowly introduced, first for the child to play with it… The brush should be soft and with as little head as possible. The paste is not required, and if used, it should be a fluoride-free baby paste. Fluorides are good for the teeth and help prevent tooth decay, but young children can swallow the paste, which can lead to tooth fluorosis for some time.
It is best to start with the paste when the child learns to spit fluid out of his mouth. By year 2. only brush paste coating is recommended. From Years 2 to 6. baby pastes containing a lower concentration of fluoride may be used. After the age of 6. “adult” pastes can also be used.
By the age of three. the child must brush his or her teeth with the help of the parents, and later, until they go to school, they should be supervised. By the time they go to school, their motor skills are not yet sufficiently developed to have their teeth brushed properly, so help is needed. The teeth are brushed at least twice a day, in the morning after a meal and the evening before bedtime, and preferably after a meal during the day.
The dental floss should be put into service as soon as the two teeth come in contact. The floss should be used because the surfaces between the contacted teeth cannot be properly brushed and caries are often created in these places. Also, plaques are retained on the gums leading to their inflammation and bleeding.
Impact of nutrition on first dental health
It is of great importance to create proper eating habits for children
Foods that are particularly harmful to the health of your teeth:
- Sweets, especially sticky
- Combinations of white flour and sugar (cakes, sweet pasta, sweet pastries…),
- Salty and sweet snacks.
- Carbonated juice and sweet porridge.
The introduction of sweetened liquids over a bottle is especially harmful, as this will result in long-lasting contact between sugars and caries producing bacteria. Evening and night meals are dangerous, as saliva is produced in a much smaller amount at night.
The child’s first visit to the dentist
- it is recommended that the parents bring the child to the first dental examination no later than 12 months,
- it is also important that this first examination is carried out no later than 6 months after the first milk tooth has emerged.
The first visit to the dentist in that early period is of great importance. The child still has completely healthy milk teeth during this period, and this visit is mostly scheduled to educate parents on how to preserve their children’s teeth.
Following these principles of first dental health your baby will not have a dental breakdown on milk teeth, or he or she will stop at an early stage, which is an important prerequisite for permanent teeth to be healthy.