Childrens oral health

Childrens oral health

The oral hygiene of children is extremely important. Having healthy teeth during childhood ensures that the individual will most probably have healthy teeth for the rest of their lives. There are two types of teeth; milk teeth and permanent teeth.

Milk teeth

Around the age of six months, the milk teeth of a baby start to erupt. Usually, this set consists of 20 milk teeth. Generally, by the age of two or three, children have all 20 milk teeth, though the process can be naturally slower or faster for some children.

Permanent teeth

When the child reaches the age of six the permanent teeth usually start to erupt. An adult has 32 permanent teeth. Typically, by the age of 13, most of the permanent teeth have erupted. The wisdom teeth, on the other hand, take time and erupt generally between the ages of 17 to 25.

Milk teeth are naturally replaced by permanent teeth, however, permanent teeth are not naturally replaced, ever. Therefore, care should be taken with children who have permanent teeth so that they do not lose their teeth at an early age.

Causes of bad oral health of children

There are two main causes for the damage to childrens teeth:

Tooth decay

The bacteria in our mouth produce plaque. This plaque is a sticky coating on the teeth. Moreover, the bacteria in our mouth produce a particular acid, which weakens the teeth and speeds up the process of demineralization. Eventually, this leads to tooth decay. The prime reason for tooth decay among children is that they consume sugary items and drinks, and do not clean their teeth properly.

Tooth decay should be treated promptly by a professional dental hygienist, otherwise it will lead toward more serious dental problems.

Dental erosion

The outer surface of the crown of the tooth is called enamel. Dental erosion is when this enamel becomes damaged and wears away. This is again caused by the acid produced by the bacteria in the mouth. Drinks like squashes, fizzy drinks, fruit juices, etc particularly  have the potential to cause dental erosion. As children usually consume such drinks often, it is highly advisable that they clean their teeth properly and regularly.

Dental erosion is painful for the child. If the enamel is comprehensively damaged, then it cannot be grown back. The only solution in this situation would be a filling by the dental hygienist.

Necessary steps to protect the teeth of children

  • Frequent visit to the dental hygienist for evaluation and examination

  • The consumption of sugary and acidic food and drink should be minimal

  • Regular and proper brushing of teeth, twice a day with a good toothpaste

  • It is better if the toothpaste is spat out, instead of rinsing with water which decreases the effects of the fluoride in the toothpaste


 

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