by mrrobertwade (wadey)

Dental hygiene begins as soon as a child’s first tooth starts to erupt. Teeth, whether they are temporary or permanent, new or old, are all susceptible to decay. Hence, they should be cleaned accordingly. To start, a baby’s teeth and gums should be wiped down with a soft and damp gauze pad or washcloth after every feeding. This should prevent the leading cause of babies’ tooth decay known as baby bottle syndrome.

Baby bottle syndrome occurs when a baby drinks from a nursing bottle which holds fruit juice, formula or natural milk at night or during nap time and then allowed to sleep with the baby bottle nipple in the mouth. The acids and sugars in these liquids form a pool around the baby’s teeth, causing decay and discoloration. The same thing happens when a baby falls asleep whilst breastfeeding. To avoid this, babies should only be given water during mealtime, at naptime and shortly before bedtime.

One solution to prevent tooth decay among children is to have them drink fluoridated water. Studies show that this practice reduces chances of tooth decay by 65 percent. In fact, some children who have been drinking fluoridated water since birth suffer no tooth decay at all up until their teens. Call your friendly neighborhood water supply company and ask about fluoridated water supplies. If this is not available, there are fluoride drops and tablets that you can mix with water.

Older children, meanwhile, have different needs. Pediatric dentists like Dr Hicham Riba recommend a healthy and balanced diet to keep tooth decay at bay. Instead of snacking on foods rich in sugar and starch, your kids can snack on foods with high calcium content. These include milk, cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products. In addition, studies have shown that eating cheese after meals holds back the corrosive effects of food acids.

At three years of age, kids should already learn how to brush properly with supervision from an adult. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Hicham Riba recommend only a small amount of toothpaste for children’s use when brushing with a soft tooth brush. Also, once all permanent teeth have erupted, children should already start flossing and make it into a lifelong habit.

At around they eight years or older, your kids should be brushing on their own. Of course, you should check occasionally to make sure they are doing it right. See to it that your kids make brushing and flossing a daily routine. Pediatric dentists like Dr Hicham Riba Chicago recommend flavored toothpastes and colorful toothbrushes to make brushing more fun. Finally, do not forget to take your children on biannual visits to their pediatric dentist.

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