It’s a rare occurrence nowadays to find children with sparkling white teeth. Baby teeth help children to speak clearly and chew their food, while holding a place in the jaw for the permanent teeth that are still hiding under the gums. Remind your kids these benefits of healthy teeth additional to just their beautiful smiles. Registered dietitians/nutritionists and dental hygienists propose that poor oral hygiene at any age can impact overall health.
Don’t wait for the first tooth to erupt before starting on oral care for your child. Just a few days after the baby is born, a soft baby washcloth can be used to wipe the gums to clean off any plaque that may cause decay to the erupting tooth. Tooth decay or dental caries are small holes in our teeth caused by the bacteria in the mouth which form due to the sugar that we eat. These bacteria form acids that attack our tooth. This is especially common among children in the age group of 2-11 years as they don’t brush their teeth daily but regularly indulgence in sweets and candies. Healthy diet and a good oral hygiene is recommended to prevent tooth and gum problems throughout life. Try preparing captivating yet healthy recipes for your kids by referring to simple tips available at the website www.firsteatright.com to ward off cavity problems.
We always put our babies or toddlers to sleep with a milk bottle in their mouth. This is an excellent environment for the tooth-decay-causing bacteria to thrive and result in dental caries as breast milk or formula milk is stuck to the teeth or gums for prolonged periods during sleep.
As children grow up they are exposed to a huge variety of sweets and sticky foods which become their favourite snacks. Consuming these foods regularly is a sure indicator of developing dental caries:
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables stimulate the production of saliva which help to clean the mouth and make it less acidic thereby protecting the teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after meals or snacks also helps to prevent dental caries.
Though people generally advice against drinking water during a meal, sipping water during and after a meal helps to eliminate bacteria and prevent acid production. If the water is fluoridated, you are extra benefited as fluoride present in the water helps resist tooth decay by decreasing acid levels in the mouth and assisting in the repair of early decay.
India has naturally-occurring fluoride in water and hence water fluoridation is not practiced here as in countries like United States of America and Australia.
A good diet along with proper oral hygiene is required for proper dental health. Eat nutritious food and don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly for cleaning and check-ups while doing your part of brushing and flossing daily.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.