Dental care for your kids is essential to overall health. In children, the mouth should be cleaned even before the tooth emerges. And though they will still have their baby teeth, it must be well taken care of because it helps your child speak and promotes alignment of teeth.
By starting early, your baby gets used to the daily routine. When kids develop healthy dental habits when they are young, they will be inclined to care for their teeth when they become adults. Parents need to know what care is timely and proper to ensure that kids will have a healthy mouth. As soon as the first tooth erupts, daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits play a significant role in your child’s dental health.
Studies show that there is a link between general health and tooth decay. Dental decay is most common in children because they tend to eat more sugar and may not be able to brush their teeth properly. Promoting oral health to your kids may appear overwhelming, but here is a guide on how to take care of their mouth from infancy where there is only gum until their permanent teeth.
For Newborns, where there is only gum
During your pregnancy, the teeth of your child were starting to develop inside the gums. During the first few months of his life, you may be wondering why your child is drooling so much or putting everything he sees inside his mouth. As with other aspects of childhood development, each baby is different from the other. Some kids get their first tooth at three months, while others have theirs at ten months. Regardless of when your baby gets his or her first tooth, here are some ways to protect your child’s teeth and mouth from bacteria and cavity:
- Wipe your child’s mouth after each feeding with a soft, clean, gauze pad or washcloth.
- Once the teeth or tooth appears, brush it daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water.
- Pacifiers and bottle nipples can contain bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, discourage the use of this, or make sure that it is always clean.
- Ensure that your child will not sleep with a bottle with formula or milk in his bottle. The last thing on his mouth before bed should be a toothbrush
The Teething Toddler
Toddlerhood is the time of asserting independence and testing limits, time of astounding learning, and development. At this age, brushing and flossing are vital to your child’s health because sugar is abundant in the food that they eat. Here are some mom-tested strategies that work:
- Make brushing and flossing into a game. Sing or pick a song that will last for two minutes while he or she brushes their teeth.
- Let your toddler look in the mirror while cleaning their teeth.
- Have your child choose their toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character. You can also let them choose the flavor of toothpaste too.
- Brush your teeth with them and make it a game wherein whoever brushes their teeth longer, wins.
Baby Teeth, cleaning the teeth they will eventually lose
It may be tempting to minimize the oral care for baby teeth as they will fall out anyway, right? Even if cavities occur in baby teeth that will soon fall out, it can have lifelong adverse effects on permanent teeth developing beneath the surface. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, tooth decay is five times more common than asthma. With that, it is best to practice good oral care, including those primary teeth. Since children are prone to falling and other accidents, many moms wonder what to do if their child injures their teeth:
- If a baby tooth is completely knocked out from the socket, control the bleeding with firm pressure. Give pain medications, if necessary.
- If the tooth is hit and broken, it will look chipped, and your child will be sensitive to hot or cold food. Bleeding from the inside of the tooth is a sign that the tooth is fractured, and the nerve is damaged. In these cases, limit exposure to hot and cold food or drinks then contact your child’s pediatric dentist immediately.
Caring for the teeth that are falling out
Somewhere around age six or seven, your child will lose their first tooth. The prospect of losing teeth can be exciting or scary for some kids, but no matter their reaction, this is an excellent opportunity to reinforce the importance of oral hygiene.
- Please encourage your child to brush their teeth twice daily.
- Together, you can discuss a suitable reward to earn. Mark the loss of a tooth with money or a small surprise.
- Limit foods and beverages that are high in sugar. Cavities are caused when bacteria are left in the mouth. Please encourage your child to increase water intake or rinse their mouth after snacking.
Caring for their permanent teeth
Now that some of your child’s permanent teeth have come in maintaining their good health is vital. When treated properly, they will last a lifetime. Always remind your child to brush their teeth twice a day and floss their teeth every night. More so, make sure to visit your child’s dentist every six months or twice a year.
We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.
You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.