By completing your child’s dental care you have put him on the road to having good general health. Dental decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Approximately 60% of children under the age of 5 years old experience decay in their primary teeth. Undiagnosed and untreated dental disease can lead to pain, weight loss, missed days of school and work, as well as, exacerbate existing upper respiratory diseases like asthma. Your child’s mouth is the portal to his airway and his digestive tract. Dental disease can also have a negative impact on him by contributing to stomachaches, poor digestion and malnutrition.
Once your child’s has completed his treatment it is very important for him to brush his teeth regularly, and eat healthy foods. Be sure to brush your child’s teeth at least twice daily, floss, and inspect his mouth for signs of new decay, recurrent decay or damage to the existing restorations. Restorations can have open margins, or break and your child may not always tell you because he isn’t having any discomfort. A broken filling can be replaced or repaired in most cases. It is important to keep recare appointments with your child’s dentist so that she can monitor your child’s progress, and catch problems early.
Your child’s dentist may have prescribed a special toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride, like Prevident 5000, or an antiseptic mouth rinse, such as Peridex, for him to use. It is very important for you to use these medications correctly. They help to reduce the concentration of decay producing bacteria, raise the pH of his saliva, and remineralize the enamel so that tooth decay can be eliminated or minimized.
A healthy diet that limits sweets, starchy foods and sugary beverages will prevent future tooth decay, and help to maintain your child’s dental work. If he is still eating candy, and cookies on a daily basis, as well as forgetting to brush his teeth before going to bed, there is a high probability that he will experience tooth decay again, and that the existing restorations will breakdown.
In many ways completing your child’s dental care is a misnomer. Dental care is a progression from disease to health, and good health should be a continuum for your child.
KEYS TO MAINTAINING YOUR CHILD’S DENTAL CARE:
- Follow the diet and oral hygiene recommendations of his dentist
- Limit sugary foods and beverages
- Use prescribed toothpastes and rinses as directed
- Keep scheduled recare appointments so that the dentist can monitor his progress