There are two types of mouth rinses as classified by the Food and Drug— therapeutic and cosmetic. Therapeutic mouth rinses typically contain fluoride and have been proven to be effective in helping to prevent cavities, plaque and gingivitis.
Cosmetic rinses are utilized mainly as a treatment for bad breath, and to help reduce the amount of bacteria and/or food particles left in the mouth after eating. These types of mouth rinses do not effectively treat gingivitis.
A therapeutic mouth rinse is a great addition to your oral hygiene regimen, and can definitely benefit an individual who my have trouble brushing their teeth due to a physical disability or condition, such as arthritis.
However, it should be noted that mouth rinses alone are not enough to combat plaque. Regular rinsing with water and using a fluoride toothpaste have been found to be just as effective, and should not be dismissed in favor of mouth rinses.
To ensure proper oral care for your child, it is recommended that an infant is seen by a dentist shortly after 6 months of age. Typically between 6 months and 1 year, the infant's first teeth, or primary teeth, are beginning to erupt. This is the best time for a dentist to spot any potential problems and treat them before they become big concerns.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Many infants develop habits such as thumb-sucking, which can lead to oral problems later in life. Malformed teeth and improper bite relationships are some of the common conditions that can be cause by thumb-sucking. "Baby bottle tooth decay," is another common problem we often see in infants. This condition is caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby's mouth.
If this condition is left untreated, it can lead to premature decay of your baby's future primary teeth, subsequently leading causing the improper formation of permanent teeth.
The simplest and most effective way to avoid baby bottle tooth decay is to prohibit your infant from nursing on a bottle while falling asleep. Additionally, you should avoid dipping pacifiers in sweet substances such as honey, and encourage your child to being drinking from a cup as early as possible.
Teething, Pacifiers and Thumb-Sucking
Teething is quite normal, and pacifiers or teething rings are typically used to alleviate some of the pain the child experiences due to sore gums. However, these devices should not be allowed anymore after the age of 4, as continued use can interfere with the development of your child's teeth.
Primary and Permanent Teeth
Most children grow all 20 primary teeth by the time they reach age 3. By age 12, these teeth will have been replaced with the full set 28 permanent teeth. Following that, four molars commonly called "wisdom teeth" will also usually grow in.
Keeping your child's primary teeth healthy is very important, as their development will set the stage for the growth of permanent teeth. Improper growth or diseased primary teeth can lead to the same problems with the permanent teeth.
There are special infant toothbrushes available that are designed to it over your finger and enable you to brush your infant's teeth. Typically, water is used rather than toothpaste, so that the child does not swallow toothpaste, which is generally not used until the child in at least two years old.
Children are very susceptible to injuries in their younger years, whether through playing or just common accidents. Oral injuries can be prevented by ensuring that your child does not put dangerous objects in his or her mouth, and of course supervising their play activities. As children grow older, if they are involved in physical activities and sports, you might consider having them wear a mouth guard. These can prevent injuries to the teeth, gums, lips and other oral structures.
A child's tooth being knocked out is more common than you think. If your child suffers from a tooth that has been knocked out, try to find the tooth and place it gently back in the socket, and then visit the dentist as soon as possible. While waiting, you might also keep the tooth in a solution of cold milk, saline, or even the child's own saliva.
Additionally, rinse the child's mouth of blood and place a cold compress over the injured area to reduce swelling. Ibuprofen might also be used.
If a child's primary tooth has been loosened by an injury or an emerging permanent tooth, try getting the child to gently bite down on an apple or piece of caramel; in some cases, the tooth will easily separate from the gum.
Irritation caused by retainers or braces can sometimes be relieved by placing a tiny piece of cotton or gauze on the tip of the wire or other protruding object. If an injury occurs from a piece of the retainer or braces lodging into a soft tissue, contact our office immediately and avoid dislodging it yourself.