Primary teeth, often referred to as 'milk' teeth, are a biological marvel of nature in the evolution of human beings. Their main function is to enable human nutrition in the first years of life, which, as we all know, are fundamental and decisive for the growth and development of any person.
For this reason, their care is equally or even more important than that of permanent teeth. However, despite increased preventive measures and more children visiting the dentist, there are still a large number of children with caries.
¿How can we prevent these injuries from occurring?
To answer this question, we need to look at the factors that cause tooth decay:
The first, the sugar intake. Normally the consumption of sweets and sweets is controlled by parents (and, if this is not possible, someone should be responsible for limiting it), but there are some foods that may seem healthy but are high in potentially caries-producing sugars: the packaged juicesthe milkshakes and in general, all those sweet drinks which are also administered between meals (at lunch or snack).
When taken at any time, it can take several hours for the sugars to be digested by the caries-causing bacteria from the time the sugary liquid is drunk to the time of subsequent hygiene.
The second factor is the time from the moment we eat sugar to the moment we brush our teeth, which also plays an important role in prevention. It is not a question of radically eliminating the consumption of sweet foods, but rather of reducing it and making toothbrushing as soon as possible after consumption of sugars.
The third factor is the hygiene. Ideally, children should brush at least 3 times a day. Sometimes, the pace of life and not eating at home make this difficult. In this case, one effective brushing in the morning and one in the evening would be sufficient.
In this regard, it is important to note that the role of parents or guardians is fundamental. Toothbrushing is a routine task that should be remembered daily, just like children's obligation to attend to their homework, to help around the house or take a shower and to maintain hygiene in other aspects of their lives. Without constant and methodical parental supervision, it will be difficult for children to acquire a proper brushing habit.
The fourth and last main factor is the susceptibility of each patient to caries. Thus, there are children with a high tendency to have caries who, however, if the other factors are correctly controlled and the child visits his or her doctor regularly, will be more susceptible to caries. children's dentist for screening, we will have a proper control over the disease and we will be able to prevent it.
So what are the main guidelines for preventing tooth decay in children? Here are the most important ones:
- Effective brushing at least three times a day (at least twice if the third time is not possible).
- Children between the ages of three and six will brush themselves.They need adult supervision to complete hygiene.
- Children under the age of three shall be brushed by their parents.even if they play with the brush for a while before or after this.
- Limit consumption of sugars between meals and if they eat sweets, to brush their teeth as soon as possible. Eliminate sugary drinks at lunch and snack time. Opt for foods containing calcium (cheese, yoghurt, milk), fruit and bread.
- Take children for dental check-ups at least twice a year.. Your Paediatric DentistTogether with the dental hygienist, they will teach you proper brushing techniques and hygiene measures. In addition, when necessary to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, in the dental clinics specialising in children's patients fluoride shall be applied.
Clara Serna Muñoz
Degree in Dentistry
Master's Degree in Paediatric Dentistry
San Rafael Hospital in Madrid