It's a well known fact that teeth are living tissue, containing pulp made up of blood vessels and nerves. In normal circumstances a mature adult has 32 permanent teeth, while a child has a maximum of 20 milk teeth. The part of the tooth above/ outside the gum is called the Crown, and is covered by a layer of enamel, the hardest substance in the body. The shade of enamel colour varies from one person to another, and is dependent on genetic factors, diet, etc.
We all know that a beautiful white smile, is a great blessing from the Creator, and must be taken care of. We start out dental care journey shortly after our milk teeth appear, all the way through till our wisdom teeth appear, and beyond.
Young children, especially when bottle fed, need to have their teeth cleaned, with water soaked cotton or cloth, to reduce the accumulation of milk, sugar and fermentation products. This should continue, until the child is old enough to take care of their own teeth.
Once all their temporary teeth have shown up, usually around the age of two and a half, use a soft small brush with a rounded head, and a toothpaste with low fluoride content, to safeguard your child's health in case it's swallowed. Children usually begin to brush their own teeth reliably, around ages two to three.
Next the first molars start to appear around age 6, the last stage before the appearance of permanent teeth. It's at this stage we must instil an awareness of oral hygiene habits, as personal health and hygiene basics, and not a luxury. Children should be taught to brush after each main meal, while being encouraged to reduce snacking between meals, as this raises oral acidity for a longer period than normal, and when occurring on a regular basis, leads to erosion of teeth.
Make sure to change your child's toothbrush every three months or so, and choose a toothbrush with low to medium bristle hardness, to prevent damage to their gums during brushing. Spend three seconds brushing each tooth, in a circular motion, so that the teeth are not pressured out of place, vertically or horizontally, and the gums are lightly stroked, stimulating blood flow into them.
Use a mouthwash once a day, especially one that contains Chlorhexidine, as it reduces the accumulation of harmful bacteria in the mouth. You should consult your doctor about the type and brand of mouthwash to buy, as a concentration of greater than 1.2 parts per million of Chlorhexidine can stain teeth yellow.
We emphasis the importance of flossing, which prevents the accumulation of food in places unreachable using a toothbrush.
Don't forget to visit the dentist routinely, to make sure your teeth are healthy, even when following these guidelines. Ask the dentist to clean your teeth, and remove any calcification that has accumulated.
Following this advice, will allow you to maintain clean and healthy teeth, for as long as possible.