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15 Interesting things about teeth and oral hygiene

15 Interesting things about teeth and oral hygiene

dr gritzmanBy Dr Janet Gritzman

1. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dental decay is the most prevalent disease in the world. The good news is: It is also 100% preventable with correct oral hygiene, diet and regular dental check-ups

2.  Good dental habits should start at birth (before your baby gets their first teeth). When you bath your baby clean the inside of their mouth with a piece of wet gauze to help keep the gums clean.

3. Probably the most important piece of advice I can give is: Babies should not be put to bed and left with a bottle of juice or even milk, as this can cause

‘baby bottle decay (also known as nursing caries)’.  Plain water is the safest drink for the baby between feeding.

4. When taking antibiotics, which is generally a sugary, sticky syrup, make sure that the child rinses his / her mouth out with water afterwards.

5. Cleaning of teeth should be done twice a day:

In the morning: preferably after breakfast

In the evening: the last thing before a child goes to bed at night. After the oral hygiene routine, at night – the child should not eat or drink anything except water.

If possible, a midday rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse (after lunch) is very beneficial.

6. The way to ensure that the oral hygiene routine becomes an integral part of your child’s life.  Make it fun, Make it simple, Make it consistent

Brushing can and should be a fun and special bonding time between parent and children. Some ideas – Putting a star chart on the bathroom wall. Children love to imitate adult behaviour. Let them sit with you while you brush your teeth.

7. Toddlers / children don’t have the manual dexterity required to brush properly, so parent / caregiver needs to brush for them until they are at least 6 years old. It is preferable to supervise for as long as possible.

8. Brushing properly is more important than brushing for a long time. Make sure you brush all the surfaces of the teeth. (Top, front and behind) of all the teeth.

9. Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse:

Needs to be done twice a day, preferably 3 times a day.

After breakfast, after lunch and last thing before going to bed at night.

Half a cap full – swished around the mouth for 20 seconds.

After this – must not eat, drink or rinse for at least 30 minutes

Children under 6 should not rinse – their teeth can be wiped with a piece if gauze  dipped in a fluoride mouth rinse.

10. The American Academy of Paediatric Dentists recommends that children have their first dentist visit by their first birthday. By taking your child to the dentist regularly you are helping them to establish good dental habits later in life.

11. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems, or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

12. Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after meals and snacks has been shown to significantly reverse early signs of tooth decay.

13. Tooth Mousse

I am a very strong believer in Tooth Mousse

A small amount of tooth moose should be rubbed onto the teeth with the finger – last thing before going to bed at night. Causes remineralization of the tooth structure and significantly reduces tooth decay.

14. A healthy alternative that reduces 80 % of tooth decay is Xylitol.  This can be used as a sugar replacement.  It is also recommended to use Xylitol on a daily basis, for instance in the form of sweets, sugar-free Xylitol containing chewing gum, Xylitol gel, etc.

15. Sport drinks and flavored milk also contain huge amounts of sugar and continuous sipping on this could cause severe tooth decay.