Many parents have a hard time figuring how much dental care their children need. They know oral care is important and it helps to prevent cavities but they do not always know the best way to go about it. Healthy teeth are very important to the overall health of your baby. With proper dental care, your baby will eat very well and form sounds and words.
Healthy teeth also have an impact on the way the jaws of your baby grow. As your baby grows, you need to practice good oral care, as this helps to set good dental habits. Poor dental care can result in disease, infection, and other teeth issues. To prevent that from happening, you need to know how to take care of your child’s teeth as they grow up and always take them to the best dentist.
When Should I Start Caring for My Child’s Teeth?
You should start practicing good oral care before the first tooth of your baby appears. Just because the teeth are not visible yet does not mean it is not there. The formation of teeth actually starts in the second trimester of pregnancy. Newborn babies already have 20 primary teeth, some of which have developed fully in the jaw. As such, you do not have to wait until you start seeing teeth before you start oral care.
Generally, the teeth of a baby start appearing between four and seven months. However, the timing might be different for each child. As your child begins to grow more teeth, you need to change your teeth-cleaning approach. When the baby is less than a year, you should clean their gums and teeth with a wet washcloth or gauze.
When they are between one and two years, you should switch to a soft baby toothbrush with water. You can add a little bit of fluoride-free toothpaste to it. At this stage, you should brush your child’s teeth at least two times a day. You can also start using floss in between the teeth of your baby. You should consult your pediatric dentist to know the best baby toothpaste to use.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth
Brush Twice a Day
Like adults, kids also need to brush two times a day. As a parent, one of the best ways to take care of your child’s teeth is to brush them twice a day – morning and night. For newborns, wiping their gums with a pad or wet cloth would suffice. For children below the age of three, you should use a very soft children’s toothbrush with a very little amount of toothpaste (like the size of a grain of rice).
For children three years and above, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. At this stage, you should be in control of brushing their teeth. You should help them brush their teeth for at least two minutes until you feel they can handle the rest of the brushing process themselves.
Clean Between Their Teeth Everyday
You should also clean in between the teeth of your child every day, especially when you see two teeth that touch. This will help to remove food particles under the gums or between the teeth. You can also prevent the buildup of cavities between their teeth by using floss on a daily basis. Just as you help them to brush, you should also clean between their teeth with floss until they are able to do it on their own.
Watch the Diet of Your Child
Children that consume plenty of sugary drinks and food stand a higher chance of developing tooth decay. You should prevent your children from consuming too much sugar; keep them away from fruit juice, fizzy drinks, and other full-strength sugary drinks. Their sugary treats should also be limited. They should have less chocolate and lollies in between meals.
Even the little they consume, make sure you brush their teeth afterward. You should consider replacing their sugary treats with better and healthier options like veggies, fruits, apple slices, whole grains, and reduced-fat dairy.
Make Oral Hygiene Fun
To prevent future dental problems such as infection, tooth loss, and tooth decay, you should practice good dental hygiene with your kids. Practicing good dental hygiene is very important, as you and your children will benefit from it in the long run. You should devise several means to get your children to brush regularly. If you are having trouble doing that, you should try to make the process more fun. Here are some tips to help you do that:
- Allow your children to choose their favorite color of toothpaste. You can contact your pediatric dentistry to recommend some options and then let your kids pick their favorite.
- Let them pick the toothbrush they want to use. Some children’s toothbrushes have very fancy designs and some are designed after children’s favorite cartoon characters. You should allow your kids to pick their favorite character or color.
- Offer some incentives if they keep up with their brushing schedule. The reward could be a fancy sticker, time at the park, or even a bedtime story. Remember, you should avoid sugary substances, which means the incentive cannot be any sugary food or drink.
- Pick a fun toothbrush song. With a fun toothbrush song, your kids can brush their teeth for two minutes and more without getting bored with the process.
Visit a Dentist Regularly
There is a debate about the first time to take your baby to a dentist. Many people believe children do not need to visit a dentist until they develop a full set of teeth. Nevertheless, dental health is not just about teeth. Oral health is about everything inside the mouth, including the lips and gums. The first time to take your baby to the dentistis when their first tooth shows up or when they get to a year old, anyone that comes first.
However, if you notice any irregularity in your child’s mouth, you should book an appointment with a kid’s dentist. You should also visit the pediatric dentist regularly, as your child grows, as this will help them get used to the process.
Taking care of your child’s teeth is of utmost importance. You should start on time and also make your children enjoy the process. You should also work with the best toddler dentist in the early stages of your child’s dental care.