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Dental care for infants and small children

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Cavities (also known as caries or tooth decay) are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

Dental disease and tooth decay can cause poor nutrition, growth, and development, and can negatively impact a child’s quality of life.  Children who have dental disease often continue to have poor oral health as an adult.

To prevent tooth decay, your child’s teeth need to be cleaned twice a day from the time the first tooth pushes through the gum.

Development of teeth

Children get their teeth at different times, but most babies will get their first tooth between six months and 10 months. Most children will have all their baby teeth by the time they are three years old.

Adult teeth replace baby teeth between the ages of six and 12 years. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to emerge, coming through in the late teens. Your child will start losing baby teeth around the age of six. Let loose teeth fall out on their own – if you try to pull out a tooth before it’s ready to fall out, you might damage the tooth or gums, which can cause pain and infection.

Sometimes an adult tooth will come through before the baby tooth has fallen out. If this happens and the baby tooth hasn’t fallen out within two to three months, you should see your dentist.

Oral Hygiene for Infants

Babies are born with all their teeth – you can’t see them because they are hidden in the gums. Baby teeth start to break through the gums around 6 months but it is important to start good oral care for infants even before the first tooth comes in. From healthy gums come healthy teeth.

Wipe your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth after feeding. This helps remove the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.

Once they begin to erupt, brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear the size of a grain of rice – use a soft-bristle toothbrush.

Take the bottle away after your child finishes drinking to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay can happen when babies drink milk, formula, or juice from bottles over long periods of time or fall asleep with the bottle.

Schedule your child’s first dental appointment before their first birthday or after his or her first baby tooth is visible, whichever comes first. This visit is like a well-baby visit with your pediatrician.

Oral Hygiene for Children

As kids grow up, their oral hygiene habits should grow with them.

Kids have all their baby teeth by the age of 3. These are called primary teeth. Baby teeth start falling out around age 6; that’s when the permanent, or adult, teeth start coming in. Gaps between baby teeth are normal. They make room for the permanent teeth. Most permanent teeth come in by age

Hence here are a few tips that can help keep the child’s teeth stronger at the earliest stage.

In case of more decay and damage, kindly visit the experienced dentists at Shambhala Dental Clinic, Hyderabad.

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