Friday, October 31, 2014

Caring for your Child's Teeth

      For kids, Halloween is a time for dressing up in scary costumes, amassing lots of sweets enough to last for a month. As for moms, this should be a time too for reinforcing that daily reminder of brushing the teeth. However, are we really on the right track on caring for our kids oral health? How soon should we care for our child's mouth?
      Experts recommend that oral care should begin even before the eruption of the first tooth.
Babies' gums and tongue should be wiped with wet wash cloth or a soft gum brush after every feeding. When the babies began teething, soft and short bristled toothbrush suitable for infants with fluoride-free toothpaste may be used. The choice of a fluoride-free toothpaste is of importance for babies and toddlers due to their poor swallow reflex. Most toddlers too at this stage cannot gargle or completely rinse their mouth when brushing.
Fluoride containing toothpaste when ingested may cause dental fluorosis- a permanent discoloration of the tooth enamel. Our kids use a very small amount of toothpaste every time they brush. However, ingesting a little too much of this fluoride each day may accumulate and puts a child at risk for dental fluorosis, which may result to staining of  the permanent teeth forming under the gums. When a child's permanent teeth have developed fully and starts to erupt, they can no longer develop fluorosis.
       The age as to when a child should start using fluoride containing toothpaste really depends if the child has good control on the reflex to swallow and ability to rinse mouth adequately. Some children may have it as early as age 3 while it may come at a later age to some. Consulting a dentist would be best.
       While we may have chosen the right toothpaste for our children, the time we give in supervising them while they brush, seeing to it that they are doing it the proper way is truly invaluable. Its something they can carry on till adulthood and may be passed on to their future children. Isn't  that a very good reason to smile.
Photo Credits:
     Kid Brushing Teeth by Photostock                                                                                                                                           

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