Take care of your baby’s milk teeth to ensure perfect gumline later

Primary teeth start sprouting in a baby around the sixth month. Photo: gpointstudio/ Istockphoto

Is there anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with a baby's smile? But it is as important to be aware of the need to protect its teeth. Primary teeth start sprouting in a baby at six months. And the parents should start dental care even before that. Bottle Feeding Caries or Nursing Bottle Caries is one of the most common diseases seen in children today. It is seen in babies who sleep on their mother's breast milk or bottled milk. When a baby sleeps without washing its mouth after drinking milk, sugar will be left on its teeth, and that leads to caries or tooth decay. If you look carefully, you will know that it mostly affects the upper teeth. At a young age, it is better to wipe their gums with a cotton ball or cloth dipped in water after they finish drinking milk to maintain dental hygiene.

Caring and brushing should start from the time the teeth begin to appear. And it is important to choose the right type of brushes for your baby. The first one is a finger brush which can be fitted on the parent’s finger and then used. This is available at most supermarkets, medical shops, and also online. After they get slightly older, they can use brushes specifically designed for children.

Also, fluoride toothpaste can be used by children above one year of age. Using a 'good fluoride' paste will aid dental health. Pastes are also available in many children-friendly flavours. Children should be trained to brush in the morning and at night.

Changing the brush at regular intervals as well as the correct way of brushing can help in avoiding dental diseases.

It is better that your child reduces the consumption of chocolates and sweets as they tend to stick to your child's teeth. Make them rinse their mouth after eating.

Fluorides help in protecting gums and also help in protecting your teeth from impending decaying. Tooth decay and cavities should also be prevented. This is the period when dental care is required. Make sure to take preventive measures such as fluoride application. Don't wait until your baby has a toothache to see the dentist. Dental care for babies is very important from the beginning. So don't forget to visit your nearest dentist from time to time.

Many parents are under the impression that the baby's first teeth are meant to fall out after a while and therefore don't need any attention. This is a complete misconception. The first milky teeth of a baby is required for a certain period of time. If any of these teeth are lost early, there is a risk that the permanent ones, which follows will grow incorrectly. This can cause significant changes in the teeth row as the baby teeth change to permanent teeth. So visit the dentist at regular intervals to ensure the health of children's teeth.

If the milk teeth are removed before it is time, the next teeth will fall out of line and there will be less gap for the new teeth to come in.

This can be a hindrance to the formation of speech style and pronunciation in children. Indigestion and other health problems arise if food is not chewed properly. Therefore, protect the milk teeth from pulpal damage through a root canal. Like root canal treatment in adults, pulpectomy and pulpotomy treatments in children can protect baby teeth and thereby promote natural tooth growth. If it is not possible to save the teeth, even if the teeth are lost, the space maintainer can be used to protect the space of the missing teeth and thereby prevent the displacement of the teeth.

The same treatments are available for children's teeth today as they are for adult teeth. The earlier you get the treatment, there will be fewer the chances of pain and other complications, so don't delay your child's dental check-up. See the nearest doctor once in six months. Give more care to the teeth.

(The writer is Chief Dental Surgeon at Ettumanoor Theerthas Tooth Affair Dental Hospital).

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