ORAL HYGIENE AND SUPPORTS IN CHILDREN
Oral hygiene and a proper diet serve to keep teeth and gums healthy. Professional oral hygiene is also required in children.
The bacterial accumulation of plaque and tartar settles, both above and below the gum regardless of the patient’s age. Certainly, up to 12 years of age it will be a less mature accumulation than that of an adult but still potentially pathogenic.
Starting to take care of your mouth from an early age is the right way to invest in the future well-being of the oral cavity.
Even before the first milk toothappears, after each meal it is a good habit to gently clean the baby’s gums with a moistened gauze.
Milk teeth begin to appear between 3 and 12 months of life and all reach their position around 3 years of age. When they begin to grow, the baby may show some signs of irritability and a desire to continuously chew. Trying to bite into something, like a teething ring or massaging the gums with a soothing gel, might be the best solution for relieving the discomfort.
Caring for milk teethallows permanent teethto grow healthy and strong. When the first toothappears, it is advisable to wash it both in the morning and before bedtime in the evening with a specific toothbrushspecifically designed for this age group.
When children grow up they begin to distinguish tastes better and prefer sweet foods. However, it is precisely the sugar contained in these foods that reacts on natural bacteria, present in the mouth of the child, which then produces corrosive acids that can attack the teeth and cause the onset of caries. If a milk toothis lost prematurely as a result of caries, there may be repercussions on the development of permanent teeth.
In fact, milk teeth have finer enamel than permanent teeth and are more exposed to the risk of caries: for this reason it is important to limit the intake of sugar-content foods by the child.
Already from the appearance of the first milk tooth, you should start familiarizing yourself with the hygienist and the dentist in order to establish a pleasant and positive relationship based immediately on prevention in the developmental age.
When the baby has all its milk teeth, it is very important to brush 3 times a daywith a techniquedesigned for that specific age. This technique, already at an early age, helps prevent the appearance of caries on milk teeth and will help the child to have healthier permanent teeth.
Establishing a relationship with the dental hygienist will allow you to acquire the right home oral hygiene maneuversand know the fluoride intake suitable for that specific age; in this way the child will constantly have a healthy mouth.
Also for this age group, it is important to limit the amount of sugar taken with food and drinks. In fact, the appearance of caries is related to the frequency of exposure of a tooth to the sugar taken. Therefore, after eating cariogenic foods, there is a reaction with the bacterial plaque present in the oral cavity forming acids that weaken the tooth, removing calcium and other minerals.
For this reason, regular six-monthly checks will be useful both to monitor the correct progress and to update the child on the right home hygiene maneuversat the various stages of growth.
Around 6 years of age, the child will begin to have a mixed dentition.
The newly erupted tooth enamel is not fully mature and is more vulnerable to caries attack. In fact, the loss of milk teethis an important step in the growth of the child, since permanent teeth are the ones that will have to remain for the rest of the life.
Specifically timed visits to a professional oral hygienist will assist the child towards a correct maintenance program aimed at maintaining a high level of oral prevention.
HOME ORAL HYGIENE MANEUVERS
Home oral hygiene is a set of maneuvers that are carried out daily to ensure a level of hygiene compatible with the well-being and health of the oral cavity.
The result of proper home hygiene is a healthy and pleasant mouth with the absence of food storage, gum swelling, bleeding and bad breath.
Training and learning the correct home oral hygiene maneuvers represent the most important phase and basis of the child’s visits to the professional oral hygienist.
The dental hygienistwill give all instructions both to the young patient, who will be able to perform the hygiene maneuvers independently, and to the parents who will supervise the child’s work.
Training oral hygiene maneuvers at home consists of explaining the correct use of hygiene devices, such as:
- Dental floss and / or brush
At our centre, both child and the parents are given a detailed explanation with relative practical demonstration. This will be repeated in each professional oral hygiene session, to increase the receptivityand motivationof the young patient.