Parent’s guide to oral hygiene in children

Oral hygiene in children is as important as their overall health. Teaching children dental hygiene at a very young age is an investment that will reap great benefits in the future. In order to do that, ensure that you as parents set a good example and follow good oral hygiene yourselves. Moreover, there is no need to wait until your child develops all teeth and grows older in order to ensure good oral hygiene. Your baby’s tooth can get decayed as early as they appear, if not taken good care of.

Healthy oral practices are best instilled when your child is young. As challenging as it may be to teach your child to maintain healthy oral habits, try and make learning fun and engaging. A few tips to encourage dental hygiene in kids are;

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Your baby’s first visit to the dentist

“When should I take my baby to the dentist?” is often one of the most common questions asked by parents. Most parents are often surprised when told that it is recommended to take their child to visit a dentist by the time their first tooth appears. As parents, it is important to understand that babies can develop cavities on their tooth as early as when they develop their first tooth.

As per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first visit to the dentist should be by his/her first birthday. The first dental visit is more for the parents than the child, as parents are then made aware that good dental hygiene is not limited to prevention of cavities. It is during this visit that parents learn about various oral health practices crucial to ensure their child’s dental hygiene. Parents are made aware that;

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The Benefits of Topical Fluoride Application

Based on several years of research and scientific evidence, Fluoride is known to have a beneficial role to play in the prevention of bacterial decay of teeth known as dental caries. Since the 1980’s, a decline in dental caries has been attributed to the addition of premeditated concentrations of fluoride in domestic water supplies as well as its addition in mouthwashes and toothpaste. Apart from the availability of fluoride in the water supply system, direct application of the same on to the teeth is sometimes advisable.

 

What is Topical Fluoride Treatment?

Topical fluoride treatment is the direct application of fluoride onto the teeth in the form of varnishes, paste, gel or foam. It works by binding to the tooth structure at the molecular level, thereby forming a protective layer known as “fluorapatite”. This fluorapatite is more resistant to bacterial decay and reduces the risk of caries.

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Root Canal Treatments

The structure of a tooth broadly consists of two parts, the crown, and the root. The crown is that part of the tooth which we can see in our mouth and the root is that part of the tooth which we cannot see and is deep inside the jawbone, holding the tooth firmly in place.

Structurally the upper layer of the tooth is called the enamel, the second layer the dentin and the third layer is the soft tissue in the core which consists of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, and is called the pulp.

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When the pulp is diseased and cannot repair itself, it dies. The cause of the pulp disease could be a deep tooth decay, repeated dental procedures on the same tooth, traumatic damage to the tooth, a gum disease necessitating root canal treatment (RCT), or Endodontic treatment. “Endo” in Greek meaning inside and “Odont” meaning tooth.

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The path to good Oral Hygiene

Oral health has got an important role on your overall health. Neglecting one’s oral health can lead to more than just sore teeth and bad breath- it can open the door to all sorts of health problems, including deadly diseases like oral cancer. Over the years studies have found a possible connection between gum problems and heart diseases, stroke and even pregnancies. Therefore it is imperative that we equal or more attention to our oral health, as we do to our physical health.

Role of Diet & Lifestyle in Oral hygiene

Lifestyle factors play the most important role in determining a person’s oral hygiene. The manner in which you approach your dental hygiene on a day to day basis will determine the long term health and functionality of your teeth and gums. Some of the ways in which lifestyle choices can be a detriment to oral health are as follows:

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