Milk teeth appear in child between the ages of six and ten months and at the age of three children should already have a full set of milk teeth. Permanent teeth appear at the age of six and from that time regular brushing becomes necessary.
Most of children lose their milk teeth between the ages of 12 and 14, and they are replaced by permanent teeth. Adults have 32 teeth, which is 12 more than at their childhood. The last four of them, called the wisdom teeth, appear later than others, usually between the ages of 17 and 21.
To help your child avoid problems with its teeth and gums, it is advisable to visit the dentist before the child’s first birthday. Unfortunately, around a quarter of British children experience tooth decay before the age of five. Through regular visits to the dentist, good diet and proper brushing techniques, problems such as caries can be easily avoided. Therefore, it is important that these habits are worked out as soon as possible.
Coating with fluoride
It is a quick and painless preventive treatment consisting in applying the fluoride based varnish to the child’s teeth by a dentist or nurse. It strengthens tooth enamel making them more resistant to decay.
For children from three years up and over, fluoride varnish should be applied at least twice a year.
Sealants are applied primarily to the pits and fissures that are in the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These pits and fissures are extremely susceptible to decay and can be protected through the application of sealants which flow into and seal those areas. However sealants do not protect the areas between the teeth so thorough brushing and the use of dental floss in these areas is necessary. Otherwise decay could develop in those areas uncovered by the sealants.
The food that affect your child’s oral health
Foods or drinks containing sugar
When your child enjoys sweet foods or drinks, sugar gets settled on the teeth surface creating an excellent medium for bacteria naturally found in the mouth. These bacteria break down the sugar, producing an acid that reacts with the tooth enamel causing fissures to form cavities. Limiting the proportion of sweet foods in our child’s diet will minimize the risk of damage to its teeth.
Foods that hurt teeth
Not everyone is aware of the fact that the risk of damage to the tooth enamel is enhanced not only by snacks such as chocolate, candy, cookies and carbonated drinks, but also by foods that we usually do not expect any negative consequences from – e.g. white bread and chips, as they contain high sugar levels. The longer these foods stay in contact with your child’s teeth, the more damage they can do. Fruit juices and dried fruits have a similar effect – although they are generally considered as a valuable source of vitamins for the body, they do not necessarily have to be tooth-friendly.
Ways to encourage children to brush their teeth properly
1. Children love to imitate adults – if you start to brush your teeth in the presence of your child, there is a good chance that it will follow your example itself.
2. Try to change the nuisance duty into a good way – encourage your child to brush its teeth with a colourful brush decorated with motifs from its favourite fairytale.
3. Introduce the routine: brush once in the morning and once before bedtime.
4. Encouragement is essential – remember to praise your child for brushing teeth.