Caring for your child´s mouth and teeth
Focus on eating five daily meals
Restricting eating and drinking to regular meal times is the healthiest option for teeth, as it prevents unnecessary acid damage. All food and drink (with the exception of water and all-xylitol products) includes natural sugar or added sugar that the bacteria in the mouth use to form acids. This results in acid damage during which teeth’s surface layer is corroded and cavities begin to form. Teeth need a 3–4 hour break between meals to allow saliva to rinse them and amend any acid damage.
Avoid nibbling on snacks constantly, and remember that water is the best thirst-quencher. Reserve sweets and soft drinks for special occasions.
Brush your teeth every morning and night using fluoride toothpaste
A small child-sized toothbrush should be used. Teeth should be brushed thoroughly, using small, back and forth movements to remove the sticky bacterial layer called plaque. Pay special attention to bite surfaces and gum lines, because even children may suffer from early inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which often expresses itself as bleeding gums. Children need their parents’ guidance on brushing, even after their permanent teeth have come in. Use a small amount of toothpaste twice a day. If additional fluoride is required, consult your dental clinic for advice.
Teach your child to enjoy clean teeth and a fresh mouth.
Xylitol protects teeth
Xylitol prevents the caries bacteria from multiplying and enhances salivation, putting a stop to acid damage. You can benefit most from xylitol by using it (e.g. a piece of gum) 3–5 times a day for five minutes.
The daily use of xylitol is a good habit.
Emergence of permanent teeth
Baby teeth begin to give way to permanent teeth usually by the age of 5–6 years and this process continues until puberty. The child may be encouraged to wiggle loose teeth out by him/herself. The primary incisors change to permanent teeth and, at the same time, the first permanent molars, or “number 6s”, also appear behind the row of baby teeth. Cleaning the molars is often difficult, and help from parents may be needed. A newly emerging tooth is especially susceptible to cavities, because the surface of the tooth is still soft. The tooth enamel hardens within several years due to the effects of fluoride and the minerals in saliva.
A dentist or dental hygienist checks teeth individually according to a set check-up schedule. This is to monitor the emergence of permanent teeth and the development of the dental occlusion.
Your teeth are meant to last your entire life!
Let’s look after children’s teeth together!
Book an appointment at a dental clinic between 10 and 15
(in urgent cases from 7.45 onwards),
phone 09 816 30300.