Taking care of teeth is important from the day a child is born, for overall dental health. You might think it's not important to take care of milk teeth because they ultimately get replaced by new teeth during early school years. It’s the biggest misconception because milk teeth are the important base for healthy gums and strong adult teeth preparing to come out in underneath. Don’t forget, teeth are replaced, not gums. There are a few important things you should be careful while taking care of your baby’s milk teeth.
Start as early as possible, especially from the moment that first tooth pops out from the gums, follow a health care regimen. Even though the child is not eating lots of junk food or sugary food by that time still the lactose in breast milk can lead to tooth decay that’s why dentists recommend using a washcloth on your baby's teeth to wipe away the leftovers.
Once they are a little older and start caring for their own teeth, it is your responsibility to develop a good oral care habit in them. The biggest challenge is to introduce them with brushing, start brushing in front of them so that they get the curiosity and inspiration from you. Little ones are good imitators and pick things from their elders.
Start cleaning the gums even before the first teeth comes out. In the case of babies, it should be after every feeding to protect the teeth from bacterial growth and promote good oral health. But don’t clean the gums with a toothbrush, they are harsh on gums instead use a soft cloth, soft rubber or silicone finger brush.
Fluoride Toothpaste can be used.
Cavity preventing Fluoride toothpaste can be a good option. Use a rice-grain-sized toothpaste for your toddler, then once they are 3 years old move to pea-sized dollop. Don't worry if your baby swallows some of the toothpaste, as they almost do because such a small quantity, won't cause any damage to the teeth. Later you can teach them not to swallow toothpaste and spit after brushing.
Taking care of toddler’s teeth is in your hand, but once they are grown up you can’t run behind them every time to clean their teeth. So, it is important to develop a good brushing habit, a tough task but once developed they will automatically start taking care of their teeth. Teach them in starting how to brush and then give them a go in your surveillance.
Make sure to set an example, by regularly cleaning your own teeth, at least two times a day and make sure to brush in the evening before going to bed. You can also try some attractive tricks to develop the interest of your child, get them a colourful, vibrant brush with their favourite characters. It’s a habit they will learn from their Mommy and Daddy that they will cherish for life.
It’s not necessary that every child will love tooth brushing and unfortunately, there are lots of children who hate cleaning their teeth. Especially when the baby is teething, the gums are sore and tender making them irritated. You need a lot of patience to handle such a situation, if you will get aggressive, losing your patience, the situation will go worse. In those moments, you can try a few things to make your life go easy.
because baby’s gums are sensitive if they are feeling irritated understand them and use a soft cloth to clean.
a little distraction is all you need to make tooth-brushing pleasant for your child. Sing a song or recite a sweet story. They will respond with curiosity and a big smile,
making it easy to brush the teeth.
your baby will be curious about toothbrush or finger brush. Encourage your baby by allowing them to hold the brush while appreciating on every step, they will surely end up putting the brush in mouth, all of their own.
You have set brushing habit right in your toddler now its time to realise the importance of keeping the toothbrush clean and understand toothbrush hygiene. Rinse the toothbrush thoroughly with tap water after cleaning the baby’s teeth and gums. Allow the brush to air-dry while storing it upright in open container. If you keep the toothbrushes of other family members in the same place, make sure brush don’t collide or touch each other. Otherwise, there are chances that decay-causing germs can travel between brushes, ultimately reaching your child’s mouth and impacting their teeth.
Sharing is caring, but it is not applicable in the case of toothbrushes. Don’t even think of applying it here, one for every member is a mandate to maintain good hygiene. Also, make it a habit to replace brushes when bristles get worn out or in every 3 to 4 months.
It’s a good idea to see a dentist on the first birthday of your child and it becomes a mandate if they are at high risk of cavities or any other teeth problems. Even if everything seems ok, it’s a good idea to visit the dentist once, to know dental health. There are a variety of attractive toothbrushes available in the market to make brushing a tempting experience for your child.
Develop good teething hygiene from the start and every time you feed, wipe the gums with a warm, wet washcloth. You can also buy a thimble-like, soft rubbery product which fit over your index finger and used for cleaning the teeth after every meal. Make sure to use toothpaste with a small amount of fluoride, also it’s a good idea to keep a non-fluoride variety handy because once your child starts loving toothbrush they want it all the time. Try fruity flavours and colourful tubes which are always a hit among toddlers.