Baby Teeth and Children's teeth: Proper Dental Care


Bild Säugling mit Kinderzahnbelsky


Kinderzahn Pflege

Baby teeth and children in general – require different therapy concepts than adults, although the basic rules apply to both!

What do we mean with basic rules?

There are no bad teeth; only bad habits and/or bad education and/or bad dental care!

Baby teeth should be properly cleaned from the moment the first tooth comes in. At the beginning, a clean cloth is often sufficient to softly wipe the partially erupted baby teeth. Later, the purchase of a small children's tooth brush with a small bristle head and soft bristles will pay off. Do not be alarmed if the gums initially bleed a little – continue cleaning!

Regarding oral care, you should be just as strict as with the familiar rule, “Do not cross the street when the light is red,” because while you are able to estimate the health consequences of bad dental care, your child cannot! In general, turn body care into a ritual. Just as with eating, toys do not belong there. Also, do not allow your child to play with the toothbrush; this will help the child to clearly understand the meaning of brushing.

At the beginning, children’s tooth gels are suitable for cleaning, but in the first 18 months you can also do without them completely! In order to facilitate your child learning how to spit out the paste out, change over to toothpaste or tooth gel with an unpleasant taste as soon as the child is proficient in brushing its teeth. This way, children are not encouraged to swallow and learn to spit the paste out more easily!

In general, you should perform a follow-up cleaning of your child’s teeth until the age of 10, because it is only at that age that the child’s fine motor skills are developed to such a degree that he or she could perform a good dental care by themselves.

The first visit to the dentist – what do you need to keep in mind?

Take you child to the dentist with you. If you are afraid of the dentist yourself, your partner should assume this task. It is important to generate a relaxed atmosphere, because your child will notice your fears and tensions and could adopt these. Let the dentist examine you first. Your child should watch this process. However, no major treatment should be performed at this time, as this could possibly scare off the child.

Any conditioning with rewards along the line of “if you behave well, then…” is not useful. Your child needs to learn that preventive care is important for his or her own sake. Otherwise, your child may later turn into a doctorphobic once the rewards stop! In the ideal scenario, the doctor just checks the mouth and then presents a small gift so that the child has a pleasant memory of the visit. Any reward from your side is not necessary.

What to do if there are caries anyway?

Caries should always be removed because they are a threat to healthy teeth. The doctor should decide whether and how one should proceed. The general rule is: No casual use of full anesthetics. It is often better to perform several smaller sessions! However, if several teeth are carious or if there is a need to extract teeth, then a restoration under full anesthesia is often reasonable in order to not traumatize your child unnecessarily.

In such a case, controlled, full anesthesia should be carried out, just like in a hospital! “Controlled” means that your child will be intubated and ventilated. Also, cardiovascular monitoring should be carried out. Usually, the anesthetist will explain these issues to you.

As soon as the cavities are filled, they have to be cleaned more thoroughly than before, especially at the places where the cavities used to be. In most cases, this means the region of the posterior teeth! Therefore, begin to brush your child’s teeth in the back, because this is where the concentration and, hence, the cooperation, is the biggest. The anterior teeth come last.

Some doctors have filling materials in different colors. Not only do children like this, but it also facilitates the cleaning technique, because you will see where the weak points were and thus be reminded of them each time. If a filling has broken or is leaking – you will notice a black gap between the filling and the tooth – then, as a rule, the filling needs to be replaced.

If your child’s baby teeth have been pulled, then the gaps should generally be filled with so-called placeholders as this prevents a “move towards the front” of the remaining teeth, which could result in crowding of the remaining teeth.

Root canal treatments for children?

Contrary to adult patients, root canals in baby teeth are not filled with any material because the roots of baby teeth are reabsorbed by the body during the second dentition. The root filling material would otherwise remain in the body. Instead, a soluble medication is used which is rotated into the canal and has a disinfecting effect. It is later reabsorbed together with the roots and is safe for the child.

Retainers for children?

Some malocclusions can be very easily corrected during childhood, especially if they have occurred due to one's own fault. Thumb-sucking and (baby) bottles may lead to a malocclusion, for example. The orthodontist can remedy this easily, but if it is foreseeable that your child will require a fixed retainer anyway, then treatments during childhood are unnecessary in most cases.

Click here to see the video: Pedodontics

This post is also available in: German

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