Caries in toddlers: together for strong milk teeth

Proper care: This is how parents can strengthen their children's milk teeth
Milk teeth fall out easily at some point, but it is extremely important that they are properly cared for. Even small children should learn to brush their teeth systematically. This contributes to caries-free teeth.

There is a need to catch up when it comes to clarification
According to health experts, tooth decay is increasing in toddlers. Around 15 percent of them are affected. One reason for this is that due to a lack of visits to the dentist, hardly any information about nutrition and oral hygiene can take place. Obviously there is a need to catch up here. On the occasion of the Dental Health Day 2017, experts will inform you about important information about the topic.

Many children don't go to the dentist
According to research, around two thirds of children do not go to the dentist. However, careful oral hygiene cannot begin early enough.

Milk teeth must be cleaned extremely thoroughly. Because they are the best prerequisite for healthy, permanent teeth.

The “proDente” initiative explains in a communication on Dental Health Day under the motto “Together for strong milk teeth” how important early tooth care is.

Early oral hygiene
Parents usually watch proudly when their offspring's first tooth breaks through. For most babies, this happens from the sixth month of life. From this age, a children's toothbrush with soft bristles should be used as a fixed morning and evening ritual.

In the first two years of life, a thin film of children's toothpaste with a fluoride content of 500 ppm is sufficient once a day. Study data show that locally acting fluoride from toothpaste protects against tooth decay better than the administration of fluoride tablets.

From the second birthday, you should brush twice a day with a pea-sized amount of this fluoride-containing children's toothpaste.

Brush your teeth with a system
Depending on their level of development, children aged three to four should use a toothbrush themselves. Now it's time to practice, practice, practice. The KAI method is used: first the occlusal surfaces, then the outer and finally the inner surfaces of the teeth.

As easy as it sounds, a child cannot do it without help. It is necessary that the parents clean up until school (around second grade). The children's dental care should be checked until the end of primary school.

Learning toothbrushes with cool motifs such as dinosaurs, pirates, fairies or unicorns motivate the little ones to brush regularly. Electric toothbrushes can also be interesting for small technology freaks. Picture books on the subject and CDs with toothbrush songs are also suitable as motivation for toothbrush muffle.

Feeding bottle caries
Infants and toddlers love to suck. This calms and meets your natural need for suction. However, if the feeding bottle is filled with sugary and acidic drinks as a constant companion, there is a risk of feeding bottle caries.

Bacteria in the mouth convert sugar to acids, which can decalcify the tooth and slowly destroy it. If the drinks also contain acid, this effect is intensified.

"Due to the permanent bottle sucking, often at night for self-service of the toddler, the teeth are constantly washed around by sweet or sour, creating favorable conditions for the caries bacteria," explains Prof. Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the Federal Dental Association.

“Suitable drinks are water and unsweetened tea. Because fruit juices, which of course also contain sugar, can lead to severe destruction if they are consumed too often - starting with the front teeth in the upper jaw. As soon as a baby can sit, it should get used to drinking from the open cup. ”

It is also important to ensure that children do not eat too many sweets. And what many parents don't know: milk also damages milk teeth. Because if the teeth are constantly washed around, the milk sugar (lactose) it contains can damage the teeth over time.

Provision for the little ones
Regular dental check-ups are recommended for babies and toddlers.

The first early diagnosis should be in the first year after the first milk teeth have broken through, i.e. from the 6th month of life. Depending on the individual risk of illness, quarterly to half-yearly checks can also be useful.

The regular appointments make the child familiar with the visit to the dental practice. At the same time, parents receive important information about dental care and nutrition. The dentist can recognize the beginning of pathological changes and counteract them.

The first permanent molars usually appear at the age of six. Children should then use toothpaste for adults with a higher fluoride content (1,000 to 1,500 ppm).

Since caries can quickly develop in the dimples of the molars - also called fissures - the chewing surfaces with the breakthrough must now be cleaned particularly thoroughly. Dentists advise sealing the fissures of these molars to reduce the risk of caries.

Prophylaxis pays off. According to “proDente”, study results showed that eight out of ten of the twelve-year-old children are caries-free today. The number of caries-free bits therefore doubled between 1997 and 2014. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (January 2022).