Answers To Three Common Questions About Paediatric Oral Health

Parents are charged with the responsibility of ensuring the good oral health of their children during the child's formative years. This is a huge responsibility, because the kind of oral care children get during these years has a profound impact on their dental health later in life.

First-time parents often have many questions about child dental care. Three of the most common questions about children's dental healthcare are answered in the discussion below.

Why Are Primary Teeth That Important?

The main reason why parents should take an early interest in their children's oral health is to ensure the proper and healthy development of the child's primary teeth. Primary teeth often begin to erupt through the gums as early as six months into the child's life. Apart from helping children to chew naturally, primary teeth also help children to speak clearly. More importantly however, these teeth help to form the spacing filled by permanent teeth when the permanent teeth begin to emerge from the gums. It is therefore wrong for parents to downplay the importance of primary teeth on the grounds that they will eventually fall out.

How Can The Pain Of Teething Be Alleviated?

Teething refers to the process through which primary teeth emerge from the gums. The teething period is usually a painful period in the early life of the child. In order to reduce teething pain and make the child less cranky, parents should rub their children's gums gently using a wet gauze pad or a clean finger. Alternatively, parents can give their children rubber teething rings or a cool washcloth to chew on.

For children who are old enough to eat solid foods, foods such as cold yogurt or applesauce would be ideal for pain alleviation.

If the discussed remedies fail to provide relief and the child still seems to be in pain, parents should contact their preferred paediatric dentist immediately.

Does Thumb-Sucking Have A Negative Impact On Children's Dental Health?

Thumb-sucking is a common practice in young children. Children suck on their thumbs because it soothes them and makes them feel safe and secure. The soothing effect of this action also often helps children lull themselves to sleep.

There is nothing particularly wrong about children sucking on their thumbs during the developmental stages of their teeth. However, it becomes a problem when the child's permanent teeth begin to emerge and should be discouraged at about this time. Children who suck their thumbs aggressively risk having crooked permanent teeth as well as frequent bite-related problems.