Your teeth should last you an entire lifetime, so we need to care for them properly. This means you should start when you are young.
Our first set of teeth called primary teeth begin appearing as young as six months. They are destined to be replaced by permanent teeth starting at about age six.
These first primary teeth are just as important as permanent teeth for chewing and digestion. Primary teeth are also indispensable in our learning to speak and developing correct pronunciation. These first teeth are also part of the proper growth and spacing of permanent teeth.
Unfortunately, the enamel of primary teeth is less densely mineralized than the enamel of permanent teeth, making them particularly susceptible to tooth decay. That’s why it is crucial for caretakers to limit sugary snack and drinks for children.
Here are some suggested dental hygiene techniques all children should learn, courtesy of Colgate.
Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque. This is the sticky film on teeth that’s the main cause of tooth decay.
Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the gum line. Plaque which is left on the tooth will eventually become tartar. The only way to remove tartar is by having your teeth professionally cleaned.
Brushes miss the food particles between teeth. So as parents, you should floss for your children by the time they are about 4-years-old. By the time they are 8-years-old most children can begin flossing by themselves.
If fluoride is your child’s greatest protection against tooth decay, then frequent snacking may be the biggest enemy. The sugars and starches found in many foods and snacks like cookies, candies, dried fruit, soft drinks, pretzels, and potato chips combine with the plaque on teeth to create acids. These acids attack the tooth enamel and may lead to cavities
If you have questions about the health of your child’s teeth call Dr. Croft at Columbian Orthodontics. He can help you understand what treatments he or she may need in the future.