Dental Hygiene for Children
Imagine this situation: a 4-year old child comes for a dentist check-up and the dentist finds most of his teeth have cavities. Against previous advice, which stated that the then much smaller cavities should be treated as soon as possible, the parents decided not to treat the cavities because those are “only” the milk teeth, so temporary. Now at this appointment, apart from the damage, the child is in severe pain.
Dental hygiene is vital for teeth in children of all ages, and allowing a child to drink milk during the night or juices all day long is damaging to even the smallest and youngest teeth. Starting a dental hygiene can be challenging, as many children do not like their teeth brushed but this is a fight worth fighting for parents. The consequences can be disastrous (check out our Facebook post for photos). It should be part of a child’s morning and evening routine: it is absolutely fine to allow your child to brush their teeth themselves first but this must be followed by correct brushing by a parent afterwards. With patience and over time children will learn that this is as much part of their routine as washing hands.
Many dentists recommend chewing gums for children, this is a personal decision but if you do want to try this, don’t let them chew for longer than 5 minutes and use the Miradent Xyltilol chewing gum for children. If you’re not a fan of chewing gum, you can also try Xylitol drops.
Another additional protection measure is GC mousse. It’s not a tooth paste but rather like a cream to put on top teeth before bedtime to help restore mineral balance in the teeth and it doesn’t contain fluoride. Children still have to brush with toothpaste with fluoride. When using a fluoride containing tooth paste, remember that children should not swallow the tooth paste, so ensure you store it out of reach of the children and pay attention when they use it.
A final recommendation are fissure sealants on children’s teeth as a preventive measure. It’s best for permanent teeth (posterior teeth) and also in primary/deciduous teeth in children prone to decay.
We thank Dr. Marcela Duran-Huldi from Dental practice Haus am Wiesental for her advice and recommendations.
Posted on March 15, 2016 by Luitgard Holzleg
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