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Tips for Children Dental Care

Tips for Children Dental Care

Hello everyone. As the saying goes, "to raise a child till he reaches age one hundred, a parent would worry about him for ninety-nine years."

"My kids don't like eating sweets, why would they have tooth decay?" I think this is a doubt shared by many parents. To answer this question, we need to know the cause of tooth decay first.

Bacteria long accumulated all over the oral cavity, including teeth surface, form what medically called dental plaque. These bacteria break down the sugar in food to form acids, which chronically attack the teeth and form cavities (tooth decay) over time. At this time, we need a dentist to fix it. If the tooth decay is ignored, the cavities may become bigger and deeper. When pulp nerves in the teeth are infected by bacteria, toothache will appear!

Unfortunately, most foods and drinks (not necessarily desserts) contain sugar, which can hardly be avoided. For example, the starch in rice will convert into sugar after being decomposed by enzymes in saliva. If children eat and drink more frequently, bacteria will secrete acids for longer time, increasing the chance of tooth decay.

"Teeth decay even without eating sweet food. What should we do?" Parents, do you know what you should do?

Simply put, the more frequent you eat and drink and the more time you spend on eating each time, the higher the chance of having tooth decay. To effectively prevent tooth decay in children, the most important thing is to develop correct eating and cleaning habits. Of course, this hinges on the daily guidance of parents.

Develop good habits

Among good habits, the most important one is to reduce the frequency of eating other than breakfast, lunch and dinner to reduce the chance for bacteria to secrete acids in the mouth. Some parents may ask: "My child is very active that he feels hungry soon after meals. What should I do?"

I suggest providing children with light refreshments between breakfast and lunch as well as between lunch and dinner, and replace flavoured drinks with water. This can not only tackle their hunger, but also avoid frequent eating, thus reducing the chance of having tooth decay.

Some children like to drink milk with bottles while sleeping. This is very harmful to teeth. The bacteria in the mouth long supplied with sugar in milk powder will cause extensive and serious tooth decay after a period of time, so this habit must be quit. In addition, some parents and the elderly like to reward or encourage children with snacks and candies. In this way, it is easy for children to develop the habit of frequent snacking. In fact, there is nothing wrong with snack rewards, but I suggest giving snacks right after meals to reduce the chance of having tooth decay caused by frequent snacking.

Remember, for their own tooth decay, adults are solely responsible, but for children's tooth decay, parents bear most responsibilities.

Regular Dentist Visits and Proper Teeth Brushing

When should children go to the dentist? In fact, once teeth have erupted (about 6 months old), you can bring them to the dentist for a check-up. After that, regular follow-up visits every about 6 months are required. During dentist visits, dentists can help children:

  1. Check sequence of odontiasis - conditions such as teeth loss, supernumerary teeth or other pathological lesions can lead to the abnormal sequence of odontiasis. Early problem detection allows dentists to provide treatment options sooner.
  2. Diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases - when a dental problem is found, such as tooth decay most commonly, dentists can provide professional advices and treatments. For example: is a filling required or just observation? In severe cases, root canal therapy or tooth extraction may be needed.
  3. Provide oral hygiene guidelines - prevention is better than cure, particularly for children. During regular check-ups, dentists can evaluate children’s eating habits and the risk of tooth decay as well as teach the children to clean their teeth correctly, which are very helpful in tooth decay prevention.
  4. Cultivate habits - children and even adults have an inexplicable fear of dentists. Dentist visit is like equivalent with pain and terror, so many people shy away from facing their own dental diseases. In fact, children who have developed the habit of regular check-ups from an early age and become familiar with dental treatment and clinic environment will not feel fear anymore.

All in all, whether you are an adult or a child, I recommend seeing a dentist every 6 to 12 months to prevent and treat dental problems. Parents should also arrange for their children to receive dental check-ups as soon as possible. In this regard, parents can make good use of the government’s School Dental Care Service which offers free dental treatment to school children from primary one to six. However, after their children have entered secondary schools, parents have to seek medical treatment from private dentists at their own expense.

The main culprit of tooth decay and periodontal disease is plaque that grows on teeth surface, which can be removed with teeth brushing. Therefore, proper teeth brushing plays a key role in preventing dental diseases. Now, let me share with you some tips of teeth cleaning.

The correct way to brush your teeth

It is commonly known by most people that you should brush your teeth after getting up in the morning and before going to bed at night. However, it will be more effective if you can brush your teeth or rinse your mouth every time after you eat. Each tooth has 5 surfaces, namely the chewing surface, the lingual surface, the buccal surface as well as the mesial and distal surfaces. To prevent dental diseases, all the five surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned. When brushing your teeth, lightly brush the chewing, lingual and buccal surfaces in groups of 2-3 teeth in a forward-backward or circular motion for about 5-10 times each time. In addition, don't forget the edges of the gum, which should be brushed in the same motion for several times. Remember to be gentle. Too much force will damage the gum and erode teeth surface. The mesial and distal surfaces are blocked by teeth in front of and behind them, so you need to gently scrape the surfaces upward and downward with dental floss.


There are plenty of toothbrush choices on the market. In fact, you can choose one that you feel comfortable with. I recommend choosing a smaller one convenient and flexible for teeth surface cleaning. A toothbrush with soft bristles can reduce the chance of hurting teeth and gum while brushing. In addition, toothbrush should be replaced every one month.


The main function of toothpaste is to bring fluorine to teeth surface to strengthen the enamel and resist tooth decay. Other functions such as bleaching, bacterial growth inhibition and breath freshening are relatively unimportant. Therefore, we must choose one that contains fluorine. In terms of usage, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is enough for each time. Of course, a little more will not cause adverse effects.

All in all, using the correct method with suitable toothbrush and toothpaste is the fundamentals for oral cavity cleaning. If you have any question, please consult your dentist.