Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that we often see as bleeding during brushing and
flossing. It is the mildest form of periodontal disease that is reversible.
It is important to angle your toothbrush to remove the plaque close to and under the gums. Once you remove the plaque consistently you can cure gingivitis.
Early Childhood Caries can destroy your child’s teeth:
It occurs when a child is frequently exposed to sugary liquids such as milk, including breast milk, fruit juice and other sweet liquids. The ADA recommends the following steps to prevent your child from getting baby bottle tooth decay.
– Begin clearing your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth. After every feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque.
– Never give your baby a bottle with milk, formula, sugar water or fruit juice during naps or at night in bed.
– Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
– Discourage frequent use of a training cup.
– Help your child develop good eating habits early and choose sensible, nutritious snacks.
· 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.
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.
Tooth decay is caused by certain types of bacteria that live in your mouth. When they stick to the film on your teeth called dental plaque, they can do damage. The bacteria feed on what you eat, especially sugars (including fruit sugars) and cooked starch (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.). Within about 5 minutes after you eat, or drink, the bacteria begin making acids as they digest your food. Those acids can break into the outer surface of the tooth and melt away some of the minerals. Your spit can balance the acid attack if they don’t happen very often.
However if: 1) your mouth is dry,2) you have a lot of these bacteria, or 3) your snack frequently; and then acid causes loss of tooth minerals. This is the start of tooth decay and leads to cavities.
– Remove the drool on the baby’s face to prevent rashes from developing.
– Give the baby something hard or cold to chew on, making sure it is big enough that it can’t be swallowed or break into small pieces. Examples:
include refrigerated teething rings, pacifiers, spoons,
clean wet washcloths.
– Gently rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger.
– If the baby seems irritable, tylenol can be used.
– Topical teething gels sold over the counter are not recommended
These gels can carry serious risks, including local reactions, seizures (with overdose), and methemoglobinemia.
-Regularly disinfect teething rings and objects and
wash hands to avoid gastrointestinal disturbances
You should begin regular cleanings even before your baby has teeth. After each breast feeding (or bottle-feeding) use a clean, damp washcloth to gently rub your baby’s gum tissue. You may wrap the material around one finger to make it easier to wipe your baby’s mouth.
When your baby’s first tooth comes in, switch to a baby toothbrush. They have just a few bristles and are very soft.