Tips To Keep Your Child's Teeth Healthy
Babies have all their teeth when they are born as they are underneath the gums waiting for the right time to erupt. The first tooth can push through the gums from six months onwards, but it is important to begin getting your baby into a routine of good oral care even before this happens. By the time your baby is three they will probably have all their milk teeth in place.
Early Dental Care
You can wipe their gums with a clean damp washcloth or very gently brush them with a soft baby toothbrush after feeding as this helps to get rid of the sticky coating of plaque. When their first teeth begin to push through the gums you can begin brushing them with a baby toothbrush, but ask Sparkle Dental for advice on when to begin using toothpaste and the type of toothpaste use. This is because it's important to make sure your child isn't exposed to too much fluoride, especially when they lack the ability to spit out excess toothpaste. You can make that first dental appointment before their first birthday. This is just so we can see what's going on, and it's a great opportunity to ask us for advice on how to take care of their teeth.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Babies might find it comforting to go to bed with a bottle, but it's important not to send them to bed with a sugary sweet drink as this will increase the risk of baby bottle tooth decay. This is because the sugars in the liquid will cling to your baby's teeth right throughout the night, increasing the risk of decay. Even liquids containing natural sugars such as milk, fruit juice and formula should be avoided.
Looking after Young Children's Teeth
You only need to use a pea sized amount of toothpaste to clean your child's teeth and encourage them to spit out the excess after you finished brushing their teeth. Make sure you keep toothpaste and mouthwash out of reach.
Your child will probably want to try to brush their teeth themselves, but it's important to supervise tooth brushing until they are aged seven or eight. After this time it's still a good idea to watch them brushing their teeth every so often just to make sure they're doing it properly. It can help if you brush your teeth at the same time so they can copy your actions. Otherwise you can try guiding their hands so they can feel the correct actions, and make sure there's a mirror so they can see how they brush their teeth. Children's teeth should be regularly flossed once they touch together.
Try to make the whole process as interesting and as fun as possible by allowing them to pick out child oriented toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss. It can be a great idea to get them an electric toothbrush that has a built-in timer so they know how long they should be brushing. Alternatively purchase a small fun shaped timer especially for their use that can be left in the bathroom.
Watch Their Diet
It can be tricky, but try to keep sweet, crisps, soft drinks and sugary biscuits as an occasional treat. Try to encourage them to eat fruits and vegetables rather than lots of highly sweetened fruit juices. It's best if they can stick to drinking milk or plain water for most of the time. If they want to snack in between meals then fruits that have high water content such as apples and pears, crunchy vegetables and cheese will help protect their teeth.
If you ever want more information on how best to keep your child's teeth healthy and free from tooth decay then please ask the dental team at Sparkle Dental for advice.