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Give me a smile maa.....
Maa is word we reckon with as our protector and provider. With this power comes great responsibility of nurturing a healthy strong future individual. However many a times I am faced with a situation of explaining to a mother of a toddler about extensive dental treatment required for the apple of her eyes in their first dental visit. I can see the fear and helplessness in their eyes as by the time the child is rushed to a pediatric dental care, the disease process(caries) has progressed to cause a irreversible damage to the tiny milk teeth often resulting in toothache. Though I try my best to be as gentle as possible and make the experience a pleasant one for the child , I always feel the child shouldn’t be meeting a pediatric dentist for the first time in such situations. So here I am writing this blog today about what mothers can do to ensure that the milk teeth remain healthy.
Like they say prevention is better than cure
One should start cleaning the milk teeth as soon as u see the first tooth in the oral cavity. You can use a damp cloth or silicone brush for the same. Introduce your infant to brush by first year of life. Maintain a twice daily brushing routine with a soft toothbrush. Make it a family routine, a family that brushes together smiles together.
One can start with a fluoridated toothpaste esp for kids by the time child turns two. For children above 6 years of age, fluoride mouthwashes are also available to provide protection to tooth decay. However it should be taken strictly after consultation with the child’s pediatric dentist.
Lets meet the tooth fairy
Schedule for a dental check up for your infant by first birthday with a pediatric dentist where oral hygiene / feeding instructions appropriate for your infant would be given. Early visit also helps in developing positive attitude towards oral health. Anticipatory guidance is also provided at early check visits as to dental milestones in a child.
Healthy tooth diets
Milk is the maintain source of nutrition for an infant. Due to various reasons, most of the households usually give bottled milk to infants and toddlers and tend to add sugar in it. Frequent feeding with extra sweetened milk especially at night results in extensive tooth decay . Hence as far as possible avoid adding sugar to the milk and wean of infant from bottle by 1 year of age. As the child is weaned from breast/ bottle various foods are introduced in child’s diet. It is important to remember that certain foods help in improving salivary flow and protect from caries e.g cheese, sugar free chewing gums, fresh vegetables and fruits, yoghurt etc while on the other food tend to increase susceptibility to tooth diseases e.g colddrinks, frequent sugar intake, biscuits, fruit juices etc.
So All mothers out there, U have created such perfect humanbeings, lets give them a healthy smile too.