Thursday, December 2, 2010

Secrets of the perfect set of teeth:

ACCORDING to an old wives’ tale women should expect to lose a tooth with each child - and not so long ago that belief was well rooted in reality. But today, with careful management, Dr Jacinta Yeo of the British Dental Association says most of us should be able to avoid losing our teeth. So what steps can you take to ensure that you keep your teeth in top condition? Here, ANGELA BROOKS presents the essential cradle to grave guide.

Ages 0 To 10
STUDIES have shown that if we have tooth decay as babies, then we are more likely to get decay in our permanent teeth.

Apart from their food-processing function, bay teeth are important as space maintainers so that permanent teeth have a space to slot into. If these teeth are lost early through decay, the space may not be saved, so permanent teeth can drift - a problem more likely to lead to a need for braces later.

Dental hygiene should begin with newborns. Bacteria should be removed by wrapping a piece of gauze around your finger and gently wiping the baby’s gum pads.

Baby toothbrushes with soft heads should be introduced as soon as teeth come through, along with specially formulated children’s toothpaste. These contain the optimal dose fluoride for youngsters.

In order to break down sugars, the ph in our mouth changes from neutral to acidic - and it is this acidic saliva which attacks teeth. As a result, a baby’s sugar intake should be monitored, bearing in mind that even health foods, such as milk and fruit, contain sugars.

Nursing Bottle Syndrome - a condition which causes rampant decay in a baby’s teeth - can occur from six months, and constant sweetened drinks are often blamed.

Studies have shown that 50 pc of five and six-year-olds in the UK have erosion of their front milk teeth - a condition causing pain and sensitivity. At around the age of six, the first molar teeth start to appear. These can be sealed with a plastic coating, known as fissure sealant, to prevent decay.


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