Teeth development is part of the growing process of a baby. The teeth should be able to grow naturally to form a healthy set of the same. There are, however, factors that might impede the smooth occurrence of this growing process. This may be dental diseases that may cause infections and damage to the teeth or physical trauma that may hurt the teeth as well as the growing process. As a parent, you need to ensure safe and healthy conditions that will enable your baby to end up with the best dental health possible. In line with this, here are some points to help you protect your child’s long term dental health.
Early Oral Hygiene
Waiting for your baby’s teeth to show before you can start acting on their oral hygiene is a miss. This is due to the fact that even though they might not have their teeth come out yet, their mouth and gums can still form a breeding area for bacteria. This becomes a threat to their oral health since this bacteria may cause decay on their teeth in the future.
In the meantime, before the teeth come out, use a clean wet cloth to gently wipe the gums after each feeding to remove any stuck dirt that may lead to bacteria. Following the emergence of the teeth, you can now move on to using an infant brush. Ensure to use a tiny amount of toothpaste to reduce the amount swallowed. Brush their teeth until you are convinced that they can do it on their own. You may also begin to floss as soon as two teeth make contact.
Watch What Your Baby Eats
Sugary foods are known to accelerate bacteria growth. By doing this, it leads to an increase in the production of mouth acid which, in turn, corrodes the teeth enamel. As such, the decay process is made quicker.
There is therefore a need for you to limit your child’s intake of sugary foods and snacks. Sugary drinks just before bedtime should also be avoided. Another thing to take note of is to avoid putting your child to sleep with a bottle as it is also likely to enhance tooth decay.
f your child indulges in sugary foods, drinks, or medicine, it is advisable that they do a rinse or brush their teeth soon afterward to get rid of the sugar.
Regular dental visits are not only important for adults but also for babies. Beginning these visits early enough, around their first birthday as recommended, will give the pediatric dentist the opportunity to prevent or treat tooth decay before it can get worse.
Early visits to the pediatric dental clinic will also give them a chance to foresee any dental issues that your child may be susceptible to in the future enabling them to deal with them in advance, if possible.
Routine visits to the pediatric dentist will help keep your child’s dental health in check and avoid any surprises in the long run. They will also be able to advise you on the best dental health practices when at home.
Providing a Safe Environment around the House
Bacteria is not the only thing that can harm your child’s teeth. They are also susceptible to physical harm when they knock their teeth on surfaces or household items around the house. To make this less of a risk, you may start by childproofing your home. This includes covering any sharp edges on furniture, hard surfaces and even removing dangerous pieces of furniture or other household items altogether. If space allows, you can have your child’s play area away from the rest of the furniture.
As they advance in age, purchase a mouth guard, as per your pediatric dentist’s advice, to offer them protection during playing or sporting activities.
Fluoride is meant to harden the enamel giving the acids a harder time during corrosion. Apart from the fluoride in the toothpaste, you may need to supplement it with other sources. If your tap water is not fluoridated, then you may seek fluoride supplements from your pediatric dentist. Caution needs to be applied with this since too much fluoride can lead to discoloration of your child’s teeth.
The future of your baby’s dental health is reliant on the measures that you take even when they are still a baby. What you do or fail to do during this time will either bring about positive long term effects on their dental health or the other way around.