Good care during infancy
Avoid using bottles of milk or juice at bedtime, wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze after each feeding and begin brushing your baby’s teeth with little water as soon the first tooth appears.
Early, preventative visits to the dentist
A child’s first visit to the dentist should be after his or her first birthday. During this visit, an introduction to the dental chair is made, teeth are checked and fluoride may also be applied. Toddlers should have check-ups twice a year after the age of eighteen months.
Prevent tooth decay
More than half of children’s cavities develop on the chewing surface of the teeth. To prevent food getting trapped, these surfaces are covered with a dental sealant, which creates a barrier between the tooth and the bacteria and prevents decay.
Maintain a healthy diet
Everyone knows this one, but it warrants reiteration: children should be encouraged to eat healthy snacks and avoid food or drinks containing excess sugar as this harms not just teeth, but gums as well.
Don’t ignore a toothache
This type of pain is sharp and gets worse at night. For temporary relief, you can give a pediatric Panadol and contact the dentist as soon as you can.
Discourage bad habits
Children might develop bad habits like thumb sucking, incorrect swallowing or mouth breathing. The bad habits create poor facial growth, retracted lower jaw and crowded teeth and should be prevented as early as possible.
Visit an orthodontist
A check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than the age of seven enables the orthodontist to detect and evaluate any problems and advise if any treatment is necessary.