The mouth is a favorite spot for germs. It is the main doorway into the body. Through the mouth, many dangerous enemies may enter; some of these can be germs passing on to more distant parts. Others remain in the mouth in the food particles that are often left behind after meal.
If there is one place where the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is true, it is the teeth. Don’t wait until the child is crying with toothache. When this happens, it may mean that he will lose that tooth. Make a friend of your dentist. Take your child to his office for proper dental care early in his life. Make this a regular habit. Your child will then feel confident and unafraid.
Infections in the teeth and gums may have a harmful effect on general health and may even lead to serious heart disease. Your child needs full protection while he is young. And he needs to learn the basics of mouth hygiene from the very young age.
Children with clean, healthy mouths should be the goal of all parents. This does not mean removing the teeth but rather treating them and preserving them for the future. It is easy enough to pull out most teeth, but what about the gaps that are left behind? The whole shape and expression of the face may be changed by removing several teeth. If any teeth have to be removed, some means of replacing them or preserving the spaces should be found. Partial dentures are expensive, and they are never good as one’s own teeth. It is far better to preserve the teeth by taking proper care of them while the children are young. This will save considerable expense later.
The first and most important step in preserving the teeth is to brush them regularly after every meal. This seems so simple, yet it is the one thing most people neglect to do. The old saying, “Clean teeth never decay,” could be true, provided the teeth are really clean. Much will depend on the way they brushed.
The teeth should never be scrubbed from side to side. The side of the toothbrush should be placed against the gum near the base of the tooth. It should then be carefully rotated and drawn over the gum and along the tooth to the cutting edge. A gently rotating movement will allow the brittles to penetrate between the teeth, cleaning out all the spaces and removing all food particles completely. This may take a little longer. But if it becomes a lifelong habit, the results will be most gratifying.