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Children's Teeth: The Importance and the Precautions

Our teeth are one of the most important parts in our face. After all, they define our smile! But thats not all. Apart from adding the zing to your smile, your teeth and jaws also define your entire facial structure.

Taking care of teeth is not so difficult - it only requires brushing atleast once a day (after dinner) and simple measures, such as not taking sweets at the end of a meal, or in between meals. Unfortunately, out of lack of knowledge, or sheer laziness, we ignore to follow these guidelines.

The result is a decayed tooth. While we may still be a little cautious about our own teeth, we tend to be careless about our children's teeth, as long as they are 'just' milk teeth. This is where we go terribly wrong.

Why bother about milk teeth, we wonder. After all, no matter how bad it gets, it'll always be replaced with permanent teeth. Let our babies enjoy with all the sweets they want, right? WRONG.

Latest research has been increasingly proving this line of thought not only wrong, but also more and more dangerous for your child.

Here is why you should care for the milk teeth of your child:

  • To protect your child's face: Once the teeth are affected, it reduces the chewing capacity of the child. This seriously affects the development of the facial muscles of your child, and his/ her face shall remain underdeveloped and smaller than normal, for the rest of his/ her life.
  • To protect permanent teeth: This is uncommon knowledge, but affected milk teeth can infect the permanent teeth developing under them. Also, it is very painful to chew one's food without healthly teeth, and eating becomes a dreaded chore.
  • To protect your child's health: The lack of ability to chew properly affects digestion and subsequently leads to malnutrition in the child due to improper absorbption of nutrition by the body.

    Infected teeth pump pus into the blood circulation system when he chews or swallows. The constant flow of pus into the blood has been proven to cause major problems like heart diseases, diabetes, arthritis, etc.

What Can We Do?

  • Brush After Dinner: Use a toothpaste with flouride (which means no gels - they usually do not contain flouride) - this helps strengthen teeth. Brush about 10 min after dinner, and on an average, you must brush for about 2 minutes. Do not eat anything after brushing.
  • Rinse your Mouth: After every meal, rinse your mouth thoroughly. This removes a major of the particles sticking to your teeth. If possible, it is recommended that you brush after breakfast too.
  • Don't eat sweets last: Eating sweets at the end of a meal is a damaging habit. It tends to make your saliva acidic, thereby increasing your risk to cavities. Always eat something salty after sweets, and then rinse your mouth properly.
  • Avoid Eating Between Meals: This habit will stand you in good stead for not only teeth, but for general health as well. Avoiding eating between meals helps the digestion process to be more effective, apart from regulating your weight. In case you do happen to eat in between, remember to rinse your mouth.
  • Home remedies: Drinking lots of milk will strengthen your teeth and bones. Onions when eaten raw, provide temporary protection against decay.
Some more useful info about your kids teething problems: A baby's first set of teeth usually starts to emerge at about 6 months of age. While discomfort and irritability are common in teething babies, other symptoms may be warning signs of another problem.

Here are some basics that parents should know about teething, courtesy of the American Dental Association: