Though babies may have small teeth they are not using quite yet, they are no less important than yours. While baby teeth will fall out, they are certainly not insignificant. The way you begin caring for your infant’s teeth will establish a foundation for healthy oral hygiene later on down the road. As soon as you see your little’s one first tooth popping in, you should get started on a solid routine. Healthy teeth will allow your child to speak clearly and eat comfortably.
You can begin an oral hygiene routine before teeth emerge. Begin by caring for the gums, wiping them down twice a day with a moist cloth. This will help eliminate bacteria and other lurking dangers. When the teeth begin to emerge parents should look for signs of decay caused by bottle feeding. Even milk and formula can cause decay overnight, leading to cavities. This is why pediatric dentists recommend parents never put an infant to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. A bottle of water or pacifier will do the trick.
By the time a child turns two years old, a parent should be brushing his or her teeth at least once a day. The right toothbrush will be soft and made with nylon bristles. The initial reaction for most small children is to try to swallow toothpaste, so make an effort to use very little at first. If your baby does not like the taste of toothpaste, just brush with water at first. The brushing and water will clear the teeth of remaining bacteria.
Children should always have an intake of fluoride, though it is important to manage the intake. Fluoride strengthens the teeth, providing them with strong enamel. Fluoride typically comes from tap water, though liquid supplements and fluoride toothpaste are also available.
It is important to continue managing toothbrushing for quite a few years. Children can typically brush without supervision around the age of six. In the meantime, always check for signs of decay and listen to any complaints of pain.
Proper oral care should begin early. It is not simply a matter of aesthetics but also a matter of health. Create a solid foundation for your infant’s teeth by teaching proper oral hygiene habits from the beginning.