“Oral health care should begin at an early age to prevent conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease from occurring, which can leave sequelae for life."
Children with infections or cavities may have pain, nutritional and language problems, and low self-esteem. It is very important that the mother constantly check the baby’s mouth to verify that there is no irritations, inflammation, gum swelling, or bleeding. The saliva should be transparent and the oral mucosa should be moist, soft and pink.
The habits of oral hygiene that they learn in childhood last a lifetime. Since the child is born, the gums should be cleaned with sterile gauze or with a wet cloth after each meal, removing the accumulated food waste. When the first teeth appear it is advisable to clean them with a very soft bristle brush and at twelve months you can start using toothpaste without fluoride. It is recommended to start flossing when the spaces between the teeth are closed. The time of brushing should be relaxing and fun for the child. Parents should supervise the brushing of their child and set an example by brushing their own teeth in front of the child.
Parents often underestimate the importance of temporary teeth, also called “baby teeth.” It is necessary to take care of them and keep them in good condition, in order to maintain the space required to achieve a good alignment of the final teeth. In addition an infection in the temporary teeth can generate permanent teeth weak, stained and with cavities.
It is recommended that the child attend his or her first dental appointment as soon as possible to get used to the office environment. You should never threaten a child with taking him to the dentist as punishment if he misbehaves, but on the contrary, you must motivate him and give him confidence to go with pleasure. Ideally, dental checks and professional cleanings should be done every six months.
When problems of tooth alignment are detected and corrected in a timely manner, faster and more effective results are obtained. Orthodontic treatments work more in children and adolescents, because the bone is still soft and the teeth can move more easily.
A diet rich in calcium and phosphorus in childhood is essential for the health of the teeth. From pregnancy to twelve years of age should avoid the use of certain medications, especially tetracycline, which can cause color changes, both in the temporary and permanent teeth.