Oral health care begins even before teeth are born. In fact, visits with the professional should also be initiated in early childhood. However, in order for the care to be the most appropriate for this audience, the best thing is for the little ones to be taken to specialists. For this, the dental area for children is pediatric dentistry.
The pediatric dentist is able to attend not only children, but also the pregnant woman, to perform their dental prenatal care.
In addition, this professional is indicated to care for baby patients, aged six months, up to the age of majority, and can be referred to another professional after 18, as his focus is specialized on infant patients and their specific needs.
Despite this, treatments and knowledge can also be carried out in other profiles, as the initial training is the same.
In practice, the specialty of pediatric dentistry addresses the analysis of the child’s oral health status, family history and other issues related to routine, contributing to a better development of oral health and hygiene practices.
Oral health care before the first teeth
From the age of six months, the first teeth begin to point in the gums, showing that they are about to grow.
At this moment, the first visit to the pediatric dentist must take place, so that he can see if everything is okay with oral health and instruct parents on how to clean and even reduce the discomfort of the birth of the first teeth.
For hygiene, it is recommended to use a gauze with saline or warm water, and oral cleaning can be done on the roof of the mouth of the little ones and gingival tissue.
However, it is important to emphasize that it is not recommended to clean the baby’s mouth when he is still breastfeeding, due to the amount of benefits that breast milk has for the child.
When dental training is more advanced, around two years of age, the gauze can be replaced by a silicone finger or even a children’s brush.
Child oral health care
From the moment the first teeth are born, it is essential to know how to take care of them and to know how to perform the cleaning.
According to pediatric dentists, children should brush their teeth using fluoridated toothpastes, but it is necessary to make an appointment with a professional to find out which is the ideal instrument for cleaning and the ideal amount of the product to avoid fluorosis.
As for hygiene, the main care with oral health, it is necessary to know some guidelines so that they are more effective. Are they:
- Brushing should take place, preferably, at the end of each meal;
- Night brushing is one of the most important;
- The amount of toothpaste must be compatible with a pea grain;
- Floss also has to be used by the little ones.
Many children may be reluctant to adhere to hygiene habits, so they need to be encouraged from an early age.
One way to do this is for parents to brush their teeth with their children, if possible, until the habit is created and coordination is more developed.
This is because, in this way, he identifies the example of the process and the “program” to do the brushing correctly.
Another suggestion is to carry out the process with the little one, performing the brushing itself. This strategy also acts as a reinforcement and example for carrying out the habit, in addition to creating an affective memory of the moment, since hygiene is done together with the family.
Thus, the little one associates hygiene with this period of relaxation and not just an obligation. In addition, parents are able to provide better guidance on the practice and verify that the process is being done correctly.
The more brushing feels natural, the easier it is to create this habit with the child, something he will carry with him for the rest of his life, which will protect him from many oral complications.
Teething replacement and adolescence
In addition to strengthening hygiene practices as growth occurs, some other needs may arise, especially after switching from dentition to permanent.
It is natural that during the process of growth and fall of the teeth, the new structures demand more space for their development. In addition, some habits in early childhood can also influence dental positioning.
In both cases, such as insufficient space or use of pacifiers, for example, when the permanent arch points, it may be poorly positioned, influencing a crooked bite, crowded teeth or even malocclusion.
In addition, some genetic factors can also impact on tooth structure and spacing.
In these situations, the use of orthodontic appliance can be indicated for correction of the bite and improvement of dental alignment.
In fact, it is necessary that in the period in which the treatment is carried out, care with hygiene is doubled, so that the accumulation of bacteria is not favored.
How old can you put a device?
Most orthodontic treatments can be done after birth and stabilization of the entire permanent dental arch, which usually happens between the ages of 12 and 15.
Therefore, this is the most suitable age group and the one that is most common to place the braces.
As mentioned above, care with oral hygiene must be redoubled when using an orthodontic appliance, since, due to its physical structure, the dentition is susceptible to having food residues trapped in the teeth and structure, especially when it is the model fixed.
When using the mobile device, which can be removed to feed and clean your teeth, the timing of tooth brushing can be made easier.
Despite this, one must also pay attention to the cleaning of the utensil itself, since it is constantly being removed from the mouth, and may have contact with bacteria in the cavity and the external environment.
Finally, it should be noted that their storage also needs to be adequate and that it is essential that the young person has discipline in its use, so that corrections can occur.
Food and oral health
Food is also a determining factor for the oral health of small children, because sugar, during this stage of life, is even more attractive.
However, this substance is very harmful to your health as a whole.
In relation to oral health, sucrose feeds the bacteria present in the cavity, causing them to release a corrosive acid to the tooth enamel, which leaves the teeth unprotected in relation to changes and the action of cavities.
Therefore, the interesting thing is not to create frequent contact between sweets and children. If she is “unaccustomed” to consuming chocolate, candy, chewing gum and other sweets, she will hardly miss it.
As a result, parents should encourage a balanced diet, based mainly on milk and its derivatives (rich in calcium), vegetables and fruits rich in fiber.
In addition, frequent consumption of foods with a high pigmentation content, such as soft drinks, grape juice and coffee, should be avoided, as their residues get stuck in the teeth and act by changing the color of the teeth, which may darken or stain the dental arch.
However, despite the care, some stains can still appear for different reasons, including the action of time and poor hygiene.
In such cases, problems with tooth staining can be treated through the tooth whitening, which can be done from 15 years old, when all permanent dentition is already stabilized.
All these precautions, added to the frequent visits to the dentist (which should occur every six months), guarantee a healthy smile, free of cavities or problems with gums and breath, making the child take these teachings to life, maintaining general health.
Finally, it is important to remember that dental problems, when very serious due to poor mouth care, can cause tooth loss or decay of the structure.
In such cases, it may be necessary to perform tooth extraction and dental implant.
However, as it is a more invasive procedure, its placement is not recommended before the age of 18, being ideal the preservation processes and control treatments with the pediatric dentist to reduce the risk of loss.