Dear Parents! Today we’ll talk about how to properly care for children’s teeth.
Unfortunately, tooth decay in our country, depending on the territory, occurs in 50-80% of children. But caries is not only the cause of toothache. Infection, spreading beyond the boundaries of a decayed tooth, can subsequently lead to the development of diseases of the heart, joints, kidneys, and to disruption of the gastrointestinal tract. Complications can also be the result of carious destruction of not only permanent, but also deciduous teeth. Moreover, the spread of infection from carious deciduous teeth can lead to damage to the rudiments of permanent teeth, growth retardation of the jaw bones and a violation of the shape of the face.
How does caries occur?
The main causes of tooth decay are improper oral care, combined with poor nutrition. During the day, a coating is formed on the surface of the enamel, consisting of food debris, particles of saliva. A special danger to enamel is lactic acid, which is formed from sugars under the influence of microbes that inhabit the oral cavity. Another cause of tooth decay is the formation of malocclusion. What can disrupt the formation of bite? At the age of 2 to 6 years, the following reasons are important: defective posture, oral breathing, chewing and swallowing with an open mouth, the prevalence of soft foods in the diet that do not require active chewing, the child’s habit of holding food for a long time on the cheek.
Basic preventive measures:
- Limitation of easily digestible carbohydrates contained in confectionery.
- Do not eat sweets at night.
- Do not eat sweets between main meals.
- If you violate items 2 and 3, you must thoroughly rinse your mouth or brush your teeth.
- Ensuring sufficient chewing load (introduction to the diet of vegetables).
- For normal tooth growth, dairy products, fish, which contain calcium and phosphorus, as well as vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins, are needed.
Proper dental care:
Rational oral hygiene implies daily brushing of teeth in the morning and in the evening, both times after eating, the removal of residues of which is a prerequisite for the prevention of dental diseases. In cases where tooth brushing is carried out before breakfast, after breakfast, it is necessary to rinse your mouth with water.
Basic rules for brushing your teeth:
- Before brushing your teeth, wash your hands with soap.
- Moisten the brush and apply paste on it (the amount of paste is equal to the size of a pea).
- Rinse your mouth with water.
- The movements made by the toothbrush when brushing teeth should be directed from the gums to the edge of the tooth (upper: top-down, bottom: bottom-up). The chewing surface of the posterior teeth should be cleaned by moving from the posterior teeth to the anterior ones. All these movements must be done with your mouth open. The procedure should be completed with a massage of the teeth and gums with circular movements of the toothbrush, while the teeth should be closed.
- The toothbrush should simultaneously cover 2-3 teeth, therefore, for high-quality cleaning, the upper and lower dentition are divided into sections, on each of which it is necessary to make 10 previously described movements.
At what age should you start brushing your teeth?
The oral cavity of a young child needs to be cleaned after each meal. To do this, it is recommended to give the child boiled water, as well as to clean the oral cavity with a soft gauze or cotton swab dipped in warm boiled water. After eruption of the first milk tooth, it is necessary to proceed to the use of children’s toothbrushes with soft bristles.
Rules for using a toothbrush:
- Children should brush their teeth with a children’s toothbrush, matched according to age. The length of the head should be equal to the width of 2-3 teeth.
- The edges of the head should be rounded so as not to damage the gums and the sensitive mucous membrane of the oral cavity.
- The brush must be artificial. The fibers of such bristles, unlike natural ones, are polished and the tips are rounded. In addition, natural bristles have a hollow channel in which microbes accumulate and multiply.
- The handle of the brush should be voluminous and comfortable, easily held by the child’s hand.
- Before and after brushing your teeth, thoroughly wash the brush. Before the first use of the brush, it should be washed with soap (it is not necessary to wash it with boiling water, as the bristles will melt and can damage the child’s teeth and gums).
- The brush should be stored bristle up. The brush case is used only for transportation.
- The brush must be changed 1 time in 3 months (once a season), or after infectious and viral diseases.
Requirements for children’s toothpastes:
- Low fluoride content. For children under 6 years of age, the use of toothpaste is recommended, the mass fraction of fluorine in which is 0.02-0.05% (200-500 r.m.). For children over 6 years old, this indicator increases to 0.07-0.1% (700-1000 r.m.).
- Low abrasiveness, as the enamel of milk teeth is thin and delicate.
- Low content of foaming substances.
- Up to 3 years old, the paste should not contain flavoring additives, for children from 3 to 10 years old it can contain fruit and berry fragrances, for older children – fruit and mint fragrances.