Early Oral Care in Children Can Prevent the Need for Dental Surgery in Adulthood

It’s never too early to start dental care to avoid dental surgery in later life. Experts believe that dental care should start even before the child has developed teeth. Simply massaging a baby’s gums should be undertaken daily. Once the first teeth emerge, a very soft wet toothbrush can be used to brush the teeth after feeding.

As dental problems can begin during the first year, it is important to get children used to having their teeth brushed regularly. The first visit to a dentist should be between a year and 18 months of age. The parent will be shown the correct way to care for the developing teeth. Brushing with mild fluoride toothpaste can begin at age two, and parents should encourage children to try it themselves.

By the time the permanent teeth begin developing, the child should have mastered the art of brushing correctly on his or her own. Follow these important guidelines regarding oral health care for children:

• Brush twice a day for two minutes with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brushing before bedtime is important.
• Floss correctly. This can be taught at home through frequent demonstrations.
• Visit your dentist regularly. He or she can give you expert advice and also check for any irregularities.
• Drink a lot of water each day and avoid sugary drinks.
• Eat and drink foods with high amounts of calcium, which supports strong teeth.

It’s a good idea to use a calendar or whiteboard as a checklist for your children to fill out in the evenings and mornings after brushing. This encourages them to make oral care a daily habit.