Part of keeping your children healthy includes proper dental maintenance. Keeping teeth cared for will prevent gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay and cavities. Since periodontal disease can reduce bone mass in the jaw around teeth which can never be reversed, proper dental maintenance is crucial to preserving your children’s adorable smiles. Here are five tips to help you maintain your children’s teeth.
Once your baby is firmly grasping objects, you can give them a soft infant toothbrush designed for babies 0-6 months of age. They will instinctively put the toothbrush in their mouth and chew on the bristles. The interesting feeling of this soft thing in their mouth encourages them to experiment with an early form of brushing. These extra soft toothbrushes also feel good to a teething baby.
Clean Their Mouth After Feedings
Even before your child is eating solid foods, bacteria is breeding in their mouth from the natural sugars found in breast milk and the added sugars in formulas. You can help keep their mouth clean by wiping it out with a soft cloth or gauze after each feeding. Reducing the bacteria count before teeth erupt creates a cleaner environment for new teeth. This will also get them used to the sensation and habit of cleaning their mouth and teeth.
Start with Infant Toothpaste
Once teeth erupt, you should begin brushing them twice a day with infant toothpaste. These are fluoride-free, flavored to taste like simple fruits and can often contain enzymes found in breast milk that reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Introduce Fluoride Toothpaste
When your child is old enough to spit out excess toothpaste and the foam created by brushing, which usually happens at around two or three years of age, you can introduce fluoride toothpaste that will protect against cavities and strengthen their enamel through the process of remineralization.
Visit a Dentist
Getting your kids to the dentist early, usually starting around 18 months to two years of age, will ensure that their teeth are receiving the best possible care. Actual cleanings may not begin until they’re older, but you can have a dentist look at their teeth and answer any questions you may have. This gets them used to the process and comfortable with the dentist and their staff. Finding a dental office that specializes in working with children, like Eastgate Dental Centre in Dundas ON, or a family dental office or pediatric dentist will ensure that your children feel comfortable. They’re used to working with children and will have a friendly and patient staff that is experienced with nervous kids.
It’s never too early to get your children started on a dental care routine. It will become a normal part of their daily life, and set them up for dental success by creating healthy dental habits. Professional care is a key part of keeping their teeth healthy and it doesn’t have to be a scary or foreign experience. Using these tips will help you make the right decisions for caring for your children’s teeth.