A healthy set of primary (or baby) teeth helps your child speak clearly and chew naturally, and creates a path for future permanent teeth. Decay, on the other hand, can impact the healthy growth of secondary teeth.
Dr. Stephanie Salanitri, dentist at Smilefocus, shares tips to keep your child’s baby teeth in tip-top shape.
Minimise decay by ensuring your child is getting sufficient fluoride. When picking toothpaste for kids between ages 0 to 6, buy one that’s specifically designed for their age – this will be indicated on the packaging – as they don’t need too much flouride. The taste of children’s toothpaste is also not as offensive as regular adult toothpaste.
After age 6, use a pea-sized amount of adult toothpaste to brush his or her teeth.
Also, Singapore’s tap water is flouridated, and drinking more tap water can help to prevent tooth decay.
Some children may need to have additional topical fluoride applied at dental visits.
Tooth mousse, which is only available from your dentist, offers similar oral health benefits as fluoride. It contains a particular protein that binds onto the tooth and gum surfaces, increasing calcium phosphate and neutralising acidic saliva.
Ask your dentist about tooth mousse’s suitability for your child.
Avoid nursing your child to sleep or bottle-feeding at bedtime and floss to prevent cavities between teeth.
Molar spaces close at around age 3, so tooth-to-tooth contact between molars may be where daily flossing is needed.
Limit your child’s sugar and acidic food intake and promote good dental habits like brushing twice daily.
From The Finder (Issue 288), October 2017
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