Any child involved in a recreational activity, such as soccer, hockey, football, roller blading, riding a scooter and even bicycling should wear a mouth protector.
Mouth Guards can protect your child from:
There are “stock” mouth protectors available in stores and a better-fitting variety, which are custom fitted by your dentist. Ask your dentist about using a mouth protector.
Fluoride is considered one of the most effective elements for preventing tooth decay. Water fluoridation has always been viewed as the most effective public health initiative ever to prevent tooth decay and improve overall dental health. Your dentist may recommend various ways for your child to get fluoride protection including:
– drinking fluoridated water;
– taking prescribed fluoride tablets or drops, only if you don’t live in a fluoridated community;
– fluoride application in the dental office;
– brushing with a rice size or pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste; and
– using a fluoride mouth rinse for children over age six.
Did you know . . .
– Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities by up to 50 percent in children.
– As a direct result of water fluoridation and over-the-counter fluoride products, half of children entering the first grade today have never had a single cavity, compared with 36 percent in 1980 and 28 percent in the early 1970s.
– Children who drink water containing fluoride from birth have up to 40 percent fewer cavities, and many of them remain cavity-free through their teens.
· Dental Visits
The ADA recommends regular dental check-ups, including a visit to the dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and no later than the child’s first birthday.
Preventive care such as cleanings and fluoride treatment provide your child with “smile” insurance.
Routine dental exams uncover problems that can be treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal and restorations may be small.
When necessary, X-rays are taken to see how the teeth are developing and to spot hidden decay.
New parents may not realize the importance of caring for their infant’s baby teeth. It is important to bring your child in for the first dental exam by age 1. Serious tooth decay may develop by the child’s first birthday. Even though the child’s teeth will eventually be replaced with permanent ones, they are critical for proper chewing, speaking, and appearance.
Early Childhood Caries which used to be called – baby bottle tooth decay, nursing-bottle or nursing –mouth syndrome, is a condition that can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child. It develops when a baby frequent receives a bottle or sippy cup of milk, formula, fruit juice, or sweetened liquids. It may result when the child is allowed to fall asleep with a bottle during naps or at bedtime. Prolonged demand breastfeeding may also cause this condition. Although the teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper front teeth, others may be affected.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, which are present in a thin film of plaque that constantly forms on the teeth. The bacteria in plaque use sugar to produce acid, which attacks tooth enamel. If sugary liquid is allowed to remain in the mouth, acid can attack teeth for several minutes. Tooth decay can occur after frequent, repeated acid attacks.
It’s not just what children drink, but how often and for how long their teeth are exposed to decay-causing acids. For example, if you offer a bottle containing sugary liquid as a pacifier many times a day, the teeth experience more acid attacks. Allowing a child to fall asleep with a bottle during a nap or at night also can harm teeth. While the baby sleeps, the flow of saliva decreases. Harmful sugary liquids collect and remain around the teeth, inviting acid attacks.
You can prevent this by watching what you give your baby between regular feedings. A nursing bottle should not be uses as a pacifier or as an aid to help baby sleep unless it contains plain water. Don’t dip pacifiers in a sweet liquid and don’t add sugar to baby’s food to try and make it taste better. Children can be taught to drink from a cup as they approach their firs birthday. This will eliminate prolonged bottle feeding or using a bottle as a pacifier.
Children should receive an optimal amount of fluoride, a mineral needed for the development of decay-resistant teeth. Whether or not you live in a community that has fluoridated water, you should ask your dentist about how your child can get the right amount of fluoride.
We recommend you begin brushing as soon as the baby’s first tooth appears. Ensure that your baby has a healthy diet with limited surgery containing foods and drinks between meals. Visit the dentist by the child’s first birthday.
The first adult teeth to erupt are the 6 year molars. They erupt in your child’s mouth at 6 yeas old, behind the last baby molar. These teeth have deeper grooves on the chewing surfaces. These grooves-or pits and fissures- are very narrow and deep and can not be cleaned with regular tooth brushing. They make a great hiding place for food particles and bacteria, setting the stage for tooth decay.
Dental sealants help prevent cavities on chewing surfaces. Sealants are thin plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The plastic acts as a barrier, keeping food and bacteria out and protecting teeth from decay.
Your dentist can apply sealants in just a few minutes. Once the teeth have been cleaned the dental sealant is panted on the tooth. The sealant hardens within seconds. This protects the tooth from decay. The dentist will check the sealants during the child’s dental examinations to be sure they are still intact.
Your child’s permanent molars should erupt anywhere between the ages of 5 and 7, so it’s never too early to talk to your dentist about the value of sealants. In addition to sealants be sure your child is:
· Brushing twice a day with an ADA – accepted fluoride toothpaste
· Cleaning between the teeth daily using floss
· Eating a balanced diet and limiting snacks
· Visiting a dentist regularly.