Early dental care is the key to a healthy set of teeth. But, here the question comes, how early should we start when it comes to oral care for your babies and what things to keep in mind to ensure their teeth become healthy? So, here are some tips and ways that will help you know the answers.
1. Regular and Thorough Cleaning Of the Teeth
Instilling good habits, like brushing, early on is very important. Cavities are formed when the bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars in the food residues left on the teeth. This produces an acid that attacks the tooth enamel.
Hence, brushing twice a day is crucial, once in the morning and once before bedtime. Use only pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to clean the teeth hiding in the back and don’t just concentrate on the front. Teach your child how to rinse thoroughly with water.
Even before your baby has teeth, you can gently brush the gums. You may use a wet, warm washcloth or a dampened piece of gauze as well to clean them. There are soft rubbery devices also available which can fit over index finger for this purpose. This is essential for your baby’s gums and future permanent teeth.
2. Brushing the Milk-Teeth
These set of first teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent ones. If not cared well, decay can lead to gingivitis, a gum infection which can affect the spacing of the permanent teeth.
3. Monitoring For Any Cavities
Discoloration and minor pitting are signs of cavity. Make sure the healthy practices of oral care are followed not just once but every day to keep your toddler’s teeth away from any form of decay.
4. Visiting the Dentist
Consider visiting the dentist for your child from his first birthday. This will ensure healthy and shining white teeth and also will save you a lot of money in the long run.
5. Say ‘NO’ To Bottle Decay
Don’t let your child nap with the bottle in mouth having any of the sugary drinks like juice, milk or formula. Liquids with sugar cling on teeth and cause decay. Water is the best option if your child needs a bottle of drink during bedtime.
6. Reduce Juice Intake
Juices, especially the ones containing high sugar content, should be given in moderation. They should not be made a daylong practice as they can lead to tooth decay. Do not feed more than 4 ounces per day of 100% fruit juice.
Flossing should start when two of the teeth start touching each other. Your dentist can guide you about the right techniques and schedules for flossing the teeth of your child. Just like brushing, this should also be made an activity before bedtime.
8. Limit the Usage of Sippy Cup
Although it can help your child move to a glass quickly, but do not let him use the sippy cup all day long. It can lead to tooth decay on the back of the front teeth if the drink contains sugars.
9. Beware Of That Sweet Medicine
Children’s medications are usually sugary and flavored. Letting them stick on the teeth increases the chance of cavities. Medications for some chronic diseases like asthma and heart problems often increases tooth decay rate in children.
Antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of candida yeast which can lead to oral thrush, a fungal infection, within the mouth. Some of the signs are curd-like patches on the tongue or inside of the mouth. So, beware of them.
10. Do Not Use Pacifier Past 3 Years Of Age
Although, there are certain benefits of using a pacifier, but, its long term usage can affect how your child’s teeth line up and can also change the shape of the mouth. Consult your doctor if your child is still using a pacifier past age 3.
Some Tips on How to Get Your Little One Adapt To the Good Oral Care Habits
Kids might not be ready to start brushing on their own until about 5, but a help from you till then is what is required. Getting the mastery of flossing may not happen before their 10th birthday, so be patient.
- You may not get much cooperation with brushing if your child is too tired. Hence, don’t wait until late in the day.
- You can provide your kids aged 5 years or above with options of brushes and toothpaste you approve off. Make brushing, flossing and rinsing a fun activity for them rather than a task, this will help you gain more cooperation from them. Chances are they may start liking it if they are given the options to choose toothpaste at their will.
- You may consider making it a group activity where they see grownups also brushing and taking care of their teeth. This may motivate them to brush themselves, teaching them that they don’t have a choice but to clean their teeth.
Now since you have learned to take care of your little one’s teeth, it’s time to make it a daily practice to follow them and let your child enjoy a healthy set of shining teeth.
Renu Sharma is a marketing consultant at Dave Grody Dental which is a Dental Care company and also passionate writer. She loves to shares her ideas on Health and Fitness. Despite of this she also loves travelling and reading books during free time. You can find them on Facebook Twitter & Linkedin.
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