Your child’s baby teeth are just as important as his or her permanent ones. Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, they remain vital to your child’s overall development and health as they grow. Baby teeth are essential for chewing, smiling, and speaking.
Usually, kids lose their first baby tooth at around six years old, and permanent teeth begin to emerge. But until then, we must take care of our baby’s temporary pearly whites to ensure that they will have healthy teeth growing up.
Your dentists at Kidsmile gathered a list of ways to protect your little ones’ developing teeth. Continue to read on and hopefully you can pick up a tip or two.
1. Brush your child’s teeth twice daily for a full 2 minutes each time. It is the most primary dental routine that we would like you to impart to your kids. This daily hygiene will go a long way in helping your little one prevent cavities and tooth decay as they are growing.
2. Help your toddler in brushing. Young children may not still be able to clean their teeth properly and will require parents or caregivers to assist them in proper brushing and cleaning. For the little ones, you may allow them to brush their teeth first then do a second run by helping them clean again.
3. Use child-friendly fluoride toothpaste when brushing. For your toddler, use a tiny amount of toothpaste (size of a rice grain) whenever your child brushes his or her teeth. Fluoride toothpaste helps in the prevention of cavities in kids’ teeth while keeping their tooth enamel healthy.
4. Flossing is a must. Just like brushing, assist your child when flossing or cleaning between their teeth before bedtime once you see at least two teeth that touch. Not all food particles get removed when brushing, especially in hard to reach areas of the mouth.
5. Be mindful of simple but harmful habits such as the use of a milk-filled baby bottle at bedtime, pacifier use, and sippy cup dependency. These may be basic toddler practices, but prolonged or improper use may cause more harm than good on your child’s developing teeth.
6. Promote healthy eating habits. Take control of what your child eats and drinks. Providing your child a balanced and healthy diet will also impact your child’s dental development. As much as possible, do not give your toddler sweets and sugary food and drinks.
7. Make sure to visit your child’s dentist regularly. Dental appointments should be made every six months, the first visit being around your child’s first birthday. The pediatric dentist is your partner when it comes to achieving optimal dental health for your child.
8. Talk with the pediatric dentist about fluoride varnish application. Your child’s dentist will recommend this if specifically needed for your child. This treatment helps protect your toddler’s tooth enamel, making it durable and resistant to cavities.
9. Consider dental fillings when necessary. Some parents may be reluctant because this procedure may require sedation. But dental fillings aid in the prevention of further damage to your child’s teeth brought about by cavities. It is a safe dental procedure done by pediatric dentists globally.
10. For dental emergencies or any pediatric dental concern that you may have, communicate with your child’s dentist. Ask about your child’s dental development. Remember that you and your child’s dentist are partners in this.
We hope that you will find this list useful in protecting your child’s teeth. Should you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us by calling or discussing this on your next dental appointment at Kidsmile.
Small Smiles: What You Need to Know About Baby Teeth, MouthHealthy.org https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/childrens-dental-health
Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy, KidsHealth.org https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/healthy.html
Children’s Teeth, National Health Service (UK) https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/taking-care-of-childrens-teeth/
8 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth, WebMD https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-health-for-kids#1