Cleaning milk teeth - child's play!

Brushing the teeth thoroughly twice a day is a matter of course for most adults. But what many still do not know: What applies to the permanent teeth also applies to the primary dentition. As soon as the child's first tooth is there, parents should start brushing with a small soft toothbrush.

Initially, a hint of fluoride-containing toothpaste for children is used once a day. From the second birthday onwards, a pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing children's toothpaste is used twice a day.

Although they'll be cancelled later: Milk teeth need careful care from the very beginning. Because every diseased tooth, even every deciduous tooth, causes pain. Milk teeth also have many important tasks:

They are used for biting and chewing and are necessary for children to be able to eat well.

They influence the child's language development.

Milk teeth are also placeholders for permanent teeth. Because if they fall out too early, the neighboring teeth tip over into the gap. As a result, the renewable permanent tooth cannot take its place and malpositioning can occur.

Healthy milk teeth are the basis for healthy permanent teeth. Carious milk teeth always carry the risk of caries passing to the newly formed new teeth in the jaw.

Healthy milk teeth thus contribute to the well-being and healthy development of the child as a whole.

Let's not kid ourselves: Small children do not enjoy brushing their teeth every day. That's why parents need a lot of creativity and imagination and they should playfully design their teeth brushing. For example, parents distract their children with a story or song. Maybe the child likes to watch himself in the mirror while cleaning? That too can distract attention. It is important that you, as an adult person, take your time and be able to act calmly. Choose a convenient time for yourself and your child. The best way to brush your child's teeth is to place them on the lap or on the changing table. Even if it's hard sometimes: Stay patient and consistent! Thus, a ritual can gradually emerge and brushing one's teeth becomes a habit, just like washing one's hands before eating.

For older children, there is a completely new way to enjoy brushing their teeth: An app developed by the LZG together with the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Jugendzahnpflege Rheinland-Pfalz LAGZ. You can download this app for free on a tablet. The movements of the little players' faces are perceived by a built-in camera. The children then see themselves in the form of a fireman or animal keeper in various funny scenarios. Now the child must ensure that there is enough foam to extinguish the fire or wash the animals. This can only be done by brushing your teeth, because the app reacts to the cleaning noise. The children can therefore ensure that the fire is extinguished and the animals are washed by continuously cleaning. Thanks to this cleverly integrated feedback, they have a direct influence on what is happening on the screen, which makes brushing your teeth exciting.

You should know that children are initially not able to reach all sides of the tooth by turning and turning the brush. The rule of thumb applies here: Only when a child is able to write fluently can he or she be thoroughly cleansed with a fine motor. This is usually the case during the second grade. As long as you are as a parent, you should clean it again in the morning and in the evening.

Careful, regular brushing is a central element in keeping teeth healthy. But it is not the only one. As a parent, you should also pay particular attention to healthy dental nutrition. Offer your child plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholemeal products. Sweets and sweet drinks should be the exception. Make sure you have a sugar-free morning. In addition, do not leave the baby bottle to your child to suck on for a long time to avoid decay at the milk teeth, best give him or her water and unsweetened teas from a normal cup. By the way: As soon as your child can sit, he or she can drink from a cup. Then take your child to the dentist twice a year from the first tooth onwards and lay the foundation stone for a healthy future.

Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany

Text: Dr. Beatrice Wagner, Editorial Office: Marielle Becker