Dental care is essential for everyone. But what should you do about baby teeth? Baby teeth are already inside your child’s jaw at birth. Dentists say gum and teeth care should start before the first baby tooth comes in.
Why Are Healthy Baby Teeth Important?
Baby teeth help: hold spaces open for the permanent teeth to come in, make chewing and eating more accessible, form the shape of your child’s face and make it easier for your child to talk more clearly.
How To Clean Your Child’s Mouth
It would help to clean your child’s mouth after each feeding or at least twice a day before and after the teeth come in. Place your child in a comfortable position for both of you. Use toothpaste the size of a grain of rice before the age of 3, and increase the amount to the size of a pea after the age of three. You should be able to see the inside of their mouth. Use a clean gauze pad or soft cloth over your finger before the teeth come in. Dip the gauze in warm freshwater so it’s damp but not soaking wet. Wipe your child’s gums and teeth gently.
When your baby’s teeth start coming in, use a small soft toothbrush. Place the head of the toothbrush at an angle along a row of teeth and against the gum line. Brush softly in circular motions. Do this for all sides of the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue with the toothbrush. Children can start to learn to brush their teeth at the age of 2. You can start training them by having them watch you brush your teeth first.
Tooth Decay In Infants
Tooth Decay can happen when teeth are not cared for. Cavities are caused by plaque, a harmful layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When your child eats food or takes medicine that has sugar in it, the bacteria produces acid. This acid harms the teeth and makes cavities form. Cavities happen faster in baby teeth than in adult teeth. These cavities can cause harm to permanent teeth that have not come in yet, infections that can affect the whole body, costly dental or emergency care, and uncomfortable pain to your baby.
Ways Of Preventing Tooth Decay in Kids
Be cautious of what your baby eats, and ensure they do not eat or drink frequently throughout the day. Use a bottle at feeding time only. Avoid using breastfeeding and a bottle as a pacifier. Never put your baby to bed with a formula or breast milk bottle. Once the first tooth appears, avoid frequent night feedings or demand feedings. Avoid giving your child too much milk or other drinks. Let them sip water when they get thirsty.
Flouride helps protect teeth from decay while making them stronger. A dentist may put a fluoride coat on your child’s teeth after the first tooth appears.
Avoid feeding kids under the age of one juice, sugary drinks, or water. Only feed them formula or breast milk. After 12 months, offer water between meals. Rinse their mouth immediately with water after eating anything sugary. Please do not give them gummy foods and snacks that will stick and stay on their teeth for a long time. As your child grows, give them more crunchy fruits and raw vegetables, yogurt, and cheese for snacks. Reduce starchy soft foods that will stick.
Gently rub your child’s gums with a clean finger to help them feel better, or give them a pure, cold object to chew on, for example, o teething ring. Your child might be fussy, drool more and have a low fever for a few days.
Thumb-sucking And Using A Pacifier
There is usually no damage to teeth from using a pacifier or thumb-sucking. However, after age three, the habit could affect the permanent teeth as they come in. Remember to take your child for regular dental check-ups.