We are aware of the fact that dental care is important for each one of us but what about babies? How do you care for baby teeth? They are already inside the child’s jaw at the time of birth and dentists are of the opinion that gum and teeth care should start even before the first baby tooth comes in. Baby teeth can help hold the spaces open for the adult teeth to come in, they can form the shape of the child’s face and make it easier for them to eat, chew and talk. Let’s see how you can maintain oral hygiene in babies, if yo want more tips after reading, visit the Dentist in Westminster website.
How many teeth do babies have and when?
When your baby is around 6 months, you will see the first tooth appear in their mouth – this can vary hugely, with some babies born with teeth, and others developing much earlier. Once they turn six or seven years in age, the front teeth will fall out but the back teeth will not fall until they are 10 or 12 years old. However, you need to start looking after their teeth right from the time you see the first tooth.
Tooth decay or cavities can happen in babies when the teeth are not well looked after. They are caused by plaque which is a harmful layer of bacteria that forms over the teeth. Whenever your child eats food or consumes anything with sugar in it, the bacteria will produce acids and it will harm their teeth. This leads to cavities and they happen faster in baby teeth than in adults. Cavities can cause pain, harm the permanent teeth, and cause infections in the body. You should never ignore a cavity as it can have a long-term impact on your child’s health.
Cleaning your child’s mouth
It can be incredibly difficult to get a child to accept toothbrushing, but there are multiple products on the market to help! Do not wait for the teeth to show to clean your child’s mouth. You need to do it even before the teeth come in. Clean your child’s mouth after feeding or at least two times a day. Once the teeth come in, you need to clean the mouth regularly twice a day. Remember to place the child in a position that is comfortable for them and use a clean gauze pad or place a soft cloth on top of your finger. Now dip the gauze in water and wipe the child’s gums and teeth gently. After you see their teeth coming in, you can start using a soft, small toothbrush. Simply place the head of the brush at an angle on a row of teeth and against the gum line and brush gently in circular motions. Do not brush back and forth as it can hurt the teeth and gums, only follow the circular motion and do all the sides of the teeth. Also, brush the tongue using the toothbrush.
Winter Family Dental, the dentists in Arvada co highly recommend children use fluoride toothpaste once the tooth comes in. It helps make the teeth stronger and will protect them from tooth decay. Once you see the first tooth, the dentist may also put a coat of fluoride on the teeth. Other people vehemently argue against using flouride. Ultimately, like most things in parenting, it’s up to you to do your own research and do what you feel is best for your child.
Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste if your child is above the age of three years. If your child does not spit out the toothpaste or is unable to do so, it is safe to swallow the small amount. Kids will learn to brush their own teeth once they turn three and by 10, they will be able to do it all alone.
Tips to prevent tooth decay
You need to be careful that your child is not eating and drinking all day. Whenever they eat or drink something, the sugar will turn into acid in 20 minutes. Here is how you can prevent tooth decay in them.
- Only use the bottle at feeding time and not as a pacifier.
- Never put the baby to bed with a bottle of breastmilk or formula.
- You can wean the baby from a bottle to the cup once they turn a year old. They can also sip water in the day after they are 1 but do not give them anything else to drink.
Avoid juice, water, and sugary drinks if your child is below the age of one. Do not even add honey to their drinks. Once they turn one, you can offer water between meals but no other drinks. When they eat something sugary, you can rinse the mouth with water. Stay away from gummy goods and snacks as they can stick on the teeth and stay for a long time. Once the child grows, offer crunchy, raw vegetables and fruits for snacks.
Follow these tips to ensure that your child has healthy gums and teeth. There is no damage to the teeth from using a pacifier or them sucking but if it continues after the age of three, it could affect their permanent teeth.