Our children can suffer from tooth decay as early as the eruption of their first teeth. Dental hygiene is crucial in their early years. Most extensive tooth decay in children is often a result of bottle-feeding, hence the name baby bottle caries. Sadly, when this condition happens, a good number of teeth, and sometimes even all the teeth, get affected at the same time. This can cause them pain and anguish at a very young age, thereby affecting intake of food.
To prevent this, parents must avoid having their little ones falling asleep with a bottle containing anything but plain water. Oral hygiene practices must be observed as soon as teeth are visible in the mouth.
Children should start visiting the dentist as soon as they have most of their baby teeth. Such first visits are usually non-threatening and fun. The dentist will check their teeth to ensure good oral health and normal growth and development. Good oral hygiene can then be reinforced. Do not introduce your child to the dentist only when there is a toothache, this often leaves children with negative experience at the dentist.
Prior to the dental appointment, parents should ask to speak to the dentist so they can be advised on how to prepare their child appropriately for the appointment. Dental fear can often be prevented if adults choose the right words in preparing their kids. Please never forget that children can sense our fear and anxiety, making our little patients more nervous for their appointments. Make the visit casual and fun!
Preventive treatment for children is very important. It is strongly recommended that children visit the dentist every 6 months for check up and cleaning. All molars should be sealed for protection against decay and fluoride treatment is advisable on routine visit.