Caring for a child’s dental health can begin immediately. Dentists recommend wiping the baby’s gums with a soft cloth after each feeding to eliminate bacteria. When teeth erupt, remember to brush, and floss gently each day. This will prevent bacteria from causing cavities or gum disease.
Baby teeth begin erupting as early as six months and continue until a child is two or three years old. Around age six, children will begin to lose these teeth and will gain their first molar. While baby teeth are not permanent, they serve an important function. Not only do they allow the child to eat and speak properly, but they also serve as a placeholder for permanent teeth.
As soon as the first teeth begin to cut through the gums, parents should brush them gently using an infant toothbrush and a tiny smear of toothpaste. Brush at least twice each day around the front and back of each tooth. Parents should take responsibility for brushing until the child can effectively brush all teeth. Even then, parents should supervise.
Drs. O’Shea and Dhaliwal offer the following suggestions:
• Limit sugary drinks and snacks such as fruit juice, candy, and chewy fruit snacks
• Don’t allow your child to chew on hard items like pencils or ice
• Try to avoid pacifier use and discourage thumb sucking.
• Talk to your dentist to determine if you need to supplement your child’s intake of fluoride
• Look out for mouth breathing and snoring and let your dentist know if your child is mouth breathing.
Visit Aberdeen Dental Care today for care and information to help keep your child’s mouth healthy.