The dental health is an important part of the general health of the pregnant woman, babies and children. For this reason, the main objective of the health education in dentistry is to promote and develop the habits which would contribute to the normal growth and development of chewing organs. The health of the mouth and teeth depend exclusively on the habits and behavior of each one of us. The habits we want to promote are to:
The care for the dental health of the unborn child begins in the fourth month of the pregnancy when the future mothers should begin to take the fluoride (1 mg per day) to insure that the mineralization process is progressing normally and that teeth enamel become stronger and more resistant to caries. The fluoride should not be taken if one consumes the water that already contains fluoride naturally or artificially.
When the child is born, from his earliest age a special care should be kept of the hygiene of its mouth. At the beginning, after every meal the baby’s mouth should be cleaned with a peace of gauze which is wrapped around the finger and dipped in the physiological saline . By doing this we are not only cleaning the children's mouth from the rests of the milk and the bacteria but we are also accustoming the baby to a foreign body in his mouth. This will help that the baby accept the toothbrush later without any problem.
When the first teeth grow, they also need to be rubbed and cleaned with the gauze dipped in the physiological saline. When enough teeth grow, then we buy a first toothbrush which in the beginning is used without the toothpaste. The teeth need to be brushed at least two times per day: in the morning and in the evening before going to sleep. After the evening teeth brushing it is not allowed to give to the child any drink or food containing sugar because that highly increases the risks of child getting the circular caries which is very common from the 2nd year of life.
The children should take fluoride regularly and from the earliest age ie. when they begin to eat the various food. The fluoride should be administrated in the doses of 0.25 mg per day along with the meal, preferably mixed with the baby food.
The fluoride should not be administered with the milk and the milk products because it loses then its properties. When the fluoride is taken with the milk or milk products the calcium fluoride is created which can't be desorbed in the intestine. From the age of 2 to 7 years the dose should be 0.5mg per day, from the age of 7 to 15 0.75 mg per day and after the age of 15, 1mg per day. These doses must be respected and are not to be exceeded because the higher doses of fluoride, if they are administered for a longer period, could provoke the damage to the dental enamel and the tooth itself (dental Fluorosis). Also if the extremely high dose of fluoride is taken (2 to 3grams ) there is a risk of acute poisoning with the severe consequences to the health. Because of that reason it is not advised to give the fluoride to the children that swallow the toothpaste until they learn to spill it.
The first visit of a child to the dentist should be in their second or third year. The child should get familiar with the dentist and the dental instruments. That visit should be relaxing for the child and the child should overcome the initial fear that is usually present. When the first molars grow the child should go to the dentist to seal the fissures. The fissures are grooves in the tooth where the food rests are most commonly found and which are hard to clean with a toothbrush. For that reason, the fissures are sealed with special sealant which do not allow to food to collect in the tooth groove. In addition to that, the sealants additionally reinforce the tooth enamel. This procedure is completely painless and is a good occasion to accustom the child to the dentist. In the sixth year of life the first permanent molars grow. They also need o be sealed.
As a conclusion we can state that the parents won't have problems with the oral health of their children if they follow these simple rules:
Dr Darko Bujas
"Dentalium" dental office