Dental Care for Children: How to Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth
Once you notice that first tooth, you should begin brushing.
Your baby’s first tooth is likely on the way if there is persistent saliva hanging from their chin and they suddenly want to put everything in their mouth.
While you might be concentrating on relieving your baby’s gum discomfort and ensuring their comfort throughout the teething process, it’s also important to start considering caring for those tiny pearls.
This is why: Babies who have teeth are susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. Additionally, children are more likely to develop cavities in their adult teeth if they have cavities in their baby teeth. Therefore, it’s crucial to establish a routine for your kids’ dental care early on.
How would you approach doing that? Here is some advice on how to look after your child’s teeth and how to maintain their oral health.
Taking care of your baby’s teeth
It’s crucial to understand that the bacteria Streptococcus mutans plays a role in some kids’ increased susceptibility to cavities. Because it feeds on sugar and produces acid that dissolves the tooth’s protective enamel, it is the main cause of tooth decay.
Babies aren’t born with this bacteria when it comes to neonatal oral care, but studies have shown that they can pick it up early through the saliva of their parent or carer.
The way a baby is fed can also affect the condition of their teeth. Babies who go to sleep with a bottle of milk, juice or a dummy coated in honey or sugar run the risk of developing baby bottle dental decay. When sugar builds up around a person’s teeth while they are sleeping, it feeds the Streptococcus mutans bacteria, causing decay.
So what can you do to ensure the dental health of infants? When a baby’s first tooth erupts, you should begin brushing it. Brush around their teeth gently with a small, soft toothbrush and a tiny dab of toothpaste; the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests using a dollop approximately the size of a grain of rice till age 3.
By their first birthday or six months after the eruption of their first tooth, children should begin going to the dentist.
Taking care of your toddler’s teeth
You’ll have to take the lead until your child is old enough to wash their own teeth.
It is advised to sit cross-legged with a small toddler who is reclining in your lap and gazing up at you. You get easy access to the rear of their teeth because of this.
Giving your toddler something to play with or watch can be a nice diversion if they aren’t being cooperative. Until the child learns to spit, you should be brushing twice a day and wiping away excess toothpaste with a piece of gauze.
You can start applying a little larger, pea-sized dollop of toothpaste on the toothbrush once your youngster can spit. Children should clean their teeth twice daily for two minutes each.
Up until the age of 8, you should continue to oversee your child’s dental care. They might not have the manual skill required to reach every part of the mouth before that age.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises consulting your kid’s pediatric dentist about thumb sucking if your child is older than three because it may cause crooked teeth or bite issues.
The ADA also suggests seeing the dentist frequently and changing your toothbrush every three to four months.
As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, you should start teaching them proper oral hygiene practices to prevent cavities, provide a foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles, and emphasize the value of dental care.
Do you want to know how to prevent dental decay? To avoid cavities and tooth decay in youngsters, we advise the following:
Remember to floss!
As soon as your child has two teeth next to each other, you should start flossing their teeth. Once each day, softly floss in between the teeth. By around age 10, kids can usually start flossing on their own.
Think about the diet and nutrition of your child.
You should restrict the amount of candies, sugary meals, and snacks your youngster consumes when it comes to their diet. Foods that are sticky and sweet tend to draw in bacteria, which can again lead to cavities. Additionally, you ought to refrain from serving your kid sugary beverages like regular soda. Large levels of sugar are present in soda, which can also cause cavities.
In general, it’s crucial that you assist your child in creating healthy eating habits. For family meals, pick a variety of healthful foods. Include calcium-rich foods like milk, broccoli, and yoghurt in your diet. Additionally, make sure your kid brushes their teeth after every meal.
After giving your child medicine, be sure to brush their teeth. Cough syrups and other medications often contain sugar, which causes the mouth to create acids. These acids have the ability to dissolve the tooth’s outermost layer of defence.
Fluoride preserves your child’s teeth, and utilising it when their teeth are still developing will give them even more protection. The enamel on teeth is strengthened by fluoride, making them more resistant to decay.
Children’s health isn’t harmed by fluoride, but when developing teeth absorb too much of it, dental fluorosis can result in their appearance turning chalky white.
Call your local water authority to find out if fluoride is present in your tap water. Ask your doctor if adding fluoride drops to your child’s diet would be appropriate if your tap water lacks fluoride.
Never forget how important it is for your child to visit the dentist frequently as they grow. Your child should visit the dentist for the first time as soon as the first tooth appears, but no later than age 1. Regular dental checkups will aid in preventing dental problems.
It’s crucial that children develop oral hygiene practices at home and regular dental checkups as natural, everyday parts of their lives. This can start to develop a positive rapport with their dentist and a comfort level with dental care from the very beginning, helping to prepare them for a lifetime of healthy habits.
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