Dental advice for babies and toddlers

The number of cavities in children has increased dramatically. This is due to the amount of sugars they ingest. Not only in sweets and sweets, but also in many foods such as juices, pastries, smoothies, bread.... We have normalized cavities in our lives. But do we really stop to think about all that a cavity can imply? In the best case, the child will collaborate and a pulpectomy can be performed on the piece of milk. In worse cases, especially when they are very small, we will have to opt for a general anaesthetic to fix the cavity. With the dangers that it entails. If the cavity is produced in a definitive piece (remember that at the age of 6 the first definitive molars appear), a filling or an endodoncy will have to be made if the cavity affects the nerve. And from there to lose the piece, not much goes.

No, I'm not an exaggeration. My oldest son is missing a tooth. He's been taking steroids for his asthma since he was 6 months old, which is difficult to control, more or less continuously. Some steroids have a low pH and can affect the mineralized surface of the teeth. It has been demonstrated that the use of medications for the treatment of asthma by inhalation is related to adverse reactions at the dental level such as erosion and/or dental caries, gingivitis, halitosis, xerostomia and candidiasis.  In these 15 years, it has gone through fillings, pulpectomies and even endodontics. A few years later, the endodontic tooth broke and could not be saved. For the past year he has been wearing a device to maintain the space of the lost tooth and to be able to place an implant when he is older. And all this in spite of having had a correct dental hygiene...or not, maybe I wasn't so attentive to him when he was little. Now, every 6 months we go for a check-up. And with the little one I also do it.

Oral Health

To prevent cavities and other dental problems, we must start creating hygiene habits from birth. With a single gauze soaked in water, we will clean the gums, the palate and the tongue. It is enough to do it once a day, in the moment of the bath, for example. In this way, we will begin to establish the habit.

Once the first tooth appears, we will clean twice a day with a little gas. From one year onwards, we will start with a toothbrush that is appropriate for your age, without toothpaste. We can wet the gauze or the brush with fluoride mouthwashes, always from trusted brands, not supermarkets. From 2 to 6 years old, use fluoride paste (1000 ppm) three times a day. Then, use a toothpaste with adult fluoride dosage. If many parents have doubts about whether to use toothpaste or mouthwash on small children, who do not know how to spit, the recommendation is to use them. The mouthwash will be used only to wet the brush. And the amount of toothpaste we should use is minimal. In small children, like a grain of rice; in older children and adults, like a pea. In case of accidental ingestion, the amount ingested is minimal and the benefit is better.

In addition to creating routines regarding dental hygiene, good oral health education is important. Parents are responsible for this. Children learn by imitation, washing together with them, letting them play with the brush when they are young, will help create these routines.

Teeth should be brushed 3 times a day for at least two minutes. They cannot go to bed with dirty teeth. There are acidic microorganisms that form acids from different substances or foods in our diet, such as carbohydrates, which results in a drop in pH on the tooth surface. This favours the demineralisation of the hard tissues of the oral cavity. After brushing teeth, never give anything to eat to children, a bottle, a glass of milk; in these cases, the teeth must be brushed again.

It is advisable to have an annual check-up from an early age. In this way, we make sure that his teeth are fine and the child gets used to going to the dentist, so he does not experience it as something traumatic.

In both children and adults, there is scientific evidence that electric toothbrushes clean more and better. In the case of children it is even more recommended, because even if they are distracted and waste time, the rotations of the brush are acting on the surface of the tooth.

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