Not only adults, but even children can suffer from toothache. In their growing years, it is important to help your children with proper dental hygiene so they do not suffer the misery of toothache.
What are the reasons for toothache in children?
The most common reason for toothache is cavities in the teeth. Cavities form because of poor dental hygiene.
A tooth is made up of 4 parts. The outermost part is called enamel, which is the hardest tissue in the whole body. Beneath the enamel lies dentin which is hard yellow substance, like bone which makes up most of the bulk of the tooth. Inside of dentine is the pulp, the innermost part of tooth which is made up of nerves and blood vessels and nourishes the tooth. The part that surrounds the root of the tooth is called cementum and holds the tooth firmly in the jaw.
When the pulp gets infected, the nerves sends pain signals and pain is felt.
So how can we prevent cavities in children?
Actually, prevention should start very early even before the whole set of teeth erupt. The idea is to keep the teeth in the best possible condition so that keep on serving the child as long as possible.
First toothbrush for baby
The beginning of prevention starts as early as the first tooth arrives in baby’s life. As soon as first tooth arrives the baby should be introduced to dental care routine. Although we do not mean the brushing and flossing in normal way, but it will go a long way if baby is introduced to the idea of cleaning the tooth before put going to bed.
Clean the baby’s first tooth with a soft cloth. When the tooth becomes bigger and another tooth appears, a soft baby brush can be used to brush the baby’s teeth. This will start a good dental routine for the baby which will last forever.
Another very important step in prevention of toothache in children is to see that the bacteria in the mouth do not get an opportunity to work their way to infection. There are bacteria all around us and mouth is no exception.
Bacteria need sugar to thrive. When we take sugar in, some remnants of sugar are left behind in the mouth. These leftover bits of sugar are enough for bacteria to work on. They break down sugar, and in the process produce acids in the mouth. The acid, along with bacteria corrode the hard enamel covering on the teeth and harm the tooth. If this corrosion is not checked in time, it will create cavities in the tooth be decaying the tooth and the root of the tooth. To prevent this whole cycle, it is very important to take care of children’s teeth very early in life.
Introduction to the dentist
As soon as first teeth erupts it is a good idea to take an appointment with the dentist for the baby. This first visit should be just a social event where the baby gets introduced to the dental care team in dentist’s office. This visit will create a positive image of the dentist and will help in further visits when there may be some need for the dentist to work on the baby’s teeth. The regular visits to the dentist will ensure that the teeth eruptions are not hindered.
Milk /Juice bottle before sleep
One important precaution that parents need to take is around food during the bedtime. The baby should not be given milk bottle in the mouth before he or she falls asleep. Milk contains sugar. If the baby sleeps with the milk bottle or juice bottle in mouth, the bacteria will start working on the sugar and multiply producing acid on the side. This harms the teeth and corrode them.
Amount of sugar in the diet of children
The sugar in the diet affect the health of the teeth. As we know it is the sugar that leads to cavities in the mouth. The more sugar there is in the diet the more opportunities for bacteria to thrive in the mouth. It is therefore very necessary to keep a tab on the sugar intake of the child. The diet which consists of a lot of sweets, chocolates and drinks are harmful for teeth in particular and for the overall health of the child.
Candies and fruit rolls which contain sugar are very sticky foods. They stick on the teeth and stay in the mouth for long periods of time which invites bacteria to work on. Even when children are given sweet juices and drinks, the sugar in them remains in the mouth for long periods. It is advisable to keep the sugar intake in children’s diet in control. Healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables will help children in all around growth and also in prevention of cavities.
Healthy oral care routine
As we all know, the habits that are built during childhood will continue throughout life. It is very important to start the dental care habits from very early in children’s life.
When the child has only one tooth, start brushing the tooth with a baby brush and baby toothpaste. The baby cannot gargle of course, therefore do not use adult toothpaste. But what is important is the idea of brushing. Once the idea takes root in the mind of the child that before going to bed, the brushing and flossing of teeth is a must, he will follow this habit for the rest of his life, which will help him in his future teeth problems if any.
Early introduction to dentist’s office also will help prevent toothaches, because even when good care is taken, there can be other teeth problems like crowded teeth or overbite and underbite. When your child is taken to the dentist regularly even before all the teeth have erupted, he can gauge whether there is any problem for teeth because or mal- occlusion or crowding and he can take steps to avoid the problem.
Above all, children learn by imitating adults. It is the best thing to do for our children. You follow a strict dental care routine, and the child will do the same.