When we become parents we want to do our best and even more for our children. When the first teeth sprout we count every new one with excitement, but are we informed about when and where to go in order to get advice about the little person entering the world of chewing people?
To me, as a mother of twins and a dentist, teething is a miracle and we need to be patient and caring with what nature has given us. From my personal meetings with a lot of parents I’ve realized that they don’t have enough information on how to take care of their children’s teeth. It’s necessary to know that baby teeth need to be taken care of by the parents from the moment of the sprouting, to have in mind the harmful effect of early sugar introduction into the child’s menu which is among the main causes of caries. Healthy teeth are just as important to children as the health of all other organs and systems in their organisms.
Most parents take their child to the dentist when they already have a problem and not for a regular dental check. Such parents feel guilty and uncomfortable afterwards because the child is caused pain which could have been avoided with due prevention.
What advice would I give to all current andfuture parents:
1) Visit a dentist within the first year of your child’s life. The appointment should be during the period of the first sprouting teeth. Nature is very wise and patronizing to us – it’s no accident that the first teething starts around 6 months. We have already established a connection with the little guy, the period of tummy ache and adaptation is over.
2) Cleaning teeth must turn into a habit, just like we build the habit of changing diapers or washing hands.
3) You’re responsible for the health of your child’s teeth until their 10th year. This means that every morning and evening you must check carefully whether the brushing was good enough.
4) Milk teeth must be treated – they decay just like adult ones. Under every baby tooth there’s the basis of the permanent one and there’s a connection between them, the infection can easily start near it.
5) Temperature may rise because of decaying milk teeth, swelling and pain in the mouth, loss of appetite. If there are chronic mouth problems, they can affect the heart, joints and kidneys.
6) Children must brush their teeth only using kids’ toothpaste – its content is suitable for their needs. It shouldn’t be with a strong taste and aroma, it shouldn’t contain fluorine because children can’t spit and they swallow the content of the tube.
7) Never tell your child in the doctor or dentist’s office “It’s OK, it won’t hurt.” These words make even the calmest patient hysterical.
8) The teething toy isn’t your child’s best friend – it can become the reason for a problem with the bite and the teeth line. Remove it as early as possible, but be careful – baby’s pacifier is easily replaced by thumb sucking.
9) The earlier night feeding stops, the better. Together with juice or sweetened water given at night, it’s among the main reasons for the so called early childhood caries and affects almost all dental groups in the mouth.
10) Can we do without any sweets? No – childhood sweetness lies namely in the sweets we associate certain memories with. Eating sweet things should be supervised by parents and not done in between feeding, but given as encouragement and treats in the form of a dessert. It’s better for the child to eat pure chocolate as it’s easily dissolved in the mouth and washed by the saliva. Biscuits, chocolate bars, chewy candy get stuck on the teeth and attack dental enamel for a long time.
These 10 points are only part of the advice for parents. In children’s dentistry and stomatology as a whole, we should talk about developing good habits in little and young patients as well as in adults. In our clinic we don’t only treat children’s teeth, but also provide complete health care. As long as there’s regular care, we guarantee healthy teeth for life because 95% of all teeth problems depend on us!