Dental care begins as early as six to 12 months from birth; this is when your first teeth start to erupt. It involves brushing, flossing, dental visits and some dental health knowledge. Here's everything you need to know about dental care:
Parents and Children
The early years of your child are crucial to their dental care. This means that, as a parent, you have a huge role to play.
Between 6 and 12 months, take your child to a paediatric dentist for examination; this is just precautionary. You want the dentist to rule out any abnormalities and to catch any problems early. In the dental care world, the earlier a dental condition is caught, the easier, simpler and cheaper it is to treat it.
The paediatric dentist will also educate you on things to avoid, signs to look out for and how to guide your child through dental care practices. You may hear the dentist warn you about prolonged use of a bottle or sucking on the thumb.
Brushing and Flossing
No one is exempt from brushing and flossing. Failure to do so will lead to different dental conditions, including tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth discolouration, foul breath, etc.
Children should be taught how to brush and floss by their parents in the morning and evening. This helps the children develop a dental care culture that is passed on to their children.
Some people have often asked whether it is right to brush before breakfast. The answer is yes, you can. You can rinse your mouth afterwards and maybe floss if some food gets stuck between your teeth.
If you are brushing after a meal, try and do so after 25-30 minutes. This creates time for the pH in your mouth to normalise. Some foods have acids that can weaken your teeth. Brushing immediately after eating can cause some damage to your weakened teeth. If this is done continuously, you may notice tooth decay or even discolouration after some time.
Visit Your Dentist
As indicated above, your first dental visit should be between the ages of six and 12 months. Your dentist will inform your parents when to bring you next for monitoring purposes.
The other time you need to visit a dentist is when you experience symptoms, regardless of how minor they are. They could be sensitivity, minor pain or bleeding, discolouration, swelling, foul breath, etc.