Prevention is the key to developing and keeping a healthy dentition.
Our main role and goal as Paediatric Dentists is to help prevent dental disease and develop healthy habits in children, so that they can have a healthy dentition not only as children but in their adulthood as well.
Tips for prevention of decay start with children from when they are babies.
In the first instance parents need to start weaning their children off night time bottle/breast feeding after 1yr of age. Night time decreased saliva secreation decreased clearing action of saliva, lactogen in milk is a risk factor for what we call 'nursing caries'.
Toddlers and young children – watch that diet does not have too much sugar, frequency more important than quantity. In between meal time eating needs to be sugar free/savoury snacks, encourage fruits.Be careful of hidden sugars in crisps.
Things like biscuits/cakes/traditional sweets like 'mithai/halwa etc' all high in sugar. Sweet, fizzy drinks not good.
Brushing teeth twice a day especially at night time very important. Parents need to assist children upto 7 yrs of age due to lack of proper development of child's manual dexterity.
Beware of changing lifestyle patterns which impact on dietary changes and changes in brushing habits.
Fluoride mouthwash in children after 7yrs of age in decay prone children.
Use of age appropriate fluoridated toothpaste.