Poland occupies one of the top places on the infamous list of countries with the highest level of caries among children. According to a research conducted by the Ministry Of Health, up to 40% of children under age of 6 and about 80% under age of 12 have unhealthy teeth.
What should we do to avoid caries problems?
Interview with Dr. Elżbieta Sujka, a dentist from the Aesthetic Dentistry Department in Olsztyn.
Why is children's dental health so bad?
Dr. Elżbieta Sujka: - This is caused mainly by lacks in hygiene. But the big problem is also a dietary mistakes committed by parents. Children eat too many sweets, often are fed at night. Instead of water they drink juice, sweetened tea. This all leads to decay. It happens that only year-old child has a caries.
So how to take care for teeth of the youngest?
The most important are daily routines. Brushing your teethe twice a day is essential.
When to start doing this? Is it necessary to wait for the first tooth?
No. The hygiene should begin early at infancy. Six months baby's gums must be rinsed, with a gauze soaked in water, twice a day, in the morning and evening. When the first teeth appears, a toothbrush, adapted to the age of the child, should be used. You should not use a toothpaste though, small children can not spit it out. Once they learn to do it - you should brush their teeth with a toothpaste, also, of course, appropriate to their age.
And what about dental visits? When to go for the first time?
I encourage even pregnant women to learn how to take care for children's teeth. I begin to inform my patients right at this stage. As a result, when the little one is born, the ladies know what to do, in order to prevent such problems. The time of first visit with a child should be planned even when nothing hurts yet! We can protect the teeth from decay. Besides, this way children get used to the dental practice environment and are not afraid of the dentist.
How often should we come with our children to the dentist?
If the teeth are healthy, visit once every six month should be enough. But if there are any problems you need to come more often, for example every three months.
What type of patients children are?
Various. It often depends on the parents as well. If they properly prepare their child for a visit, calmly talking with him about it, this child is not afraid and visit goes well. It's worse when mom or dad threaten with the dentist. Such a frightened child is difficult to persuade to sit on the chair and opened mouth. Children are especially challenging for a dentist. We need to have a strong patience and understanding with them.
Do you have many kids visiting your practice?
Yes. Children represent about 25 percent of all my patients. Today, dentistry offers a variety of children-friendly solutions. Painless methods of anesthesia or colored fillings are just some of them. All together, they make dentist visits not so traumatic as it once was.
Once in schools were dentists and hygienists. They taught children how to cater for their teeth and, if necessary, healed them on the spot. Was then the state of their teeth better?
Yes, the children were certainly better situated then. I worked at a school myself. Caries occurred, but it was less common. Now parents must remember about visits by themselves.
Many parents are convinced that milk teeth do not need to be cared of, because they will fall out anyway. What do you think?
It's a myth, caries can spread from milk teeth to permanent teeth, because it is a infectious disease. People are often not aware of it.
Infectious disease? In such a case, you can catch it from someone else?
Of course. It happens that parents infect their own children with caries, drinking from the same cup or eating with the same spoon.
Our conversation shows, that whether the child has healthy teeth or not, depends mostly on his parents and their involvement.
Yes. They should set a good example, assist in his daily teeth hygiene and do not neglect dentist visits. It's basically not much, but enough to protect your child from caries.
Feel free to contact us
Specialist Dental Practice Sujka Partnership Company
-Aesthetic Dentistry Clinic
10-020 Olsztyn, 14 Targ Rybny Street
(entrance next to Deutsche Bank)
• Monday - Friday: 9.00 AM - 6.00 PM
• Saturdays: by telephone arrangement