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Caring for your child’s teeth

October 18, 2016

How to care for your little one’s baby teeth

Moms and dads, baby teeth matter more than you realise. Many parents are under the impression that because baby teeth are going to fall out, they don’t require the same attention and care that adult teeth do. This can cause some serious long-term problems. Children’s dentistry is an essential part of ensuring good oral health.

Babies are born with 20 milk teeth already embedded in their little gums. As the teeth begin to appear, they need gentle care to prevent a build-up of milk and food. The importance of caring for these teeth is paramount in your child’s development and oral health. Baby teeth guide the adult teeth into the correct positions, and they play a vital role in chewing, speech and appearance, which does not only impact development, but can also affect their confidence.

Here are five tips to help you care for your child’s new little chompers:

Cleaning the mouth

Wipe the inside of your little one’s mouth to clean away the milk. Once the teeth start to appear, the opportunity for decay sets in. At this stage, you should buy a baby toothbrush and let the little one chew on it, to get used to the texture and sensation; it also helps to clean the mouth of any build-up of food and milk that you may have missed during wiping the inside.

Brushing

Using just a spot of fluoride toothpaste on a gentle baby toothbrush, clean your child’s teeth twice a day – once in the afternoon and again in the evening. These are the times when a fair amount of solids and food have been consumed. Help your little one spit out the excess toothpaste, because you don’t want them to get into the habit of swallowing it.

Chat to your family dentist about the best toothpaste to use. The strengths vary and some are not ideal for baby teeth. The fluoride is the primary factor in the paste as it helps promote healthier teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Dental visits

Taking your child for regular dental check-ups from an early age helps them develop a healthy relationship with the dentist. Get them used to the environment so as to avoid any future fears of what is often considered a scary experience for many. These visits help identify any potential cavities that are starting early or any oral health problems that can be successfully treated at the onset.

Reduce sugar intake

Sugar is considered the biggest contributor to tooth decay, which is why it’s essential to reduce your child’s sugar intake or encourage a savoury diet from an early age. Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible; water and milk are the best options. As your child starts on solids there will come a time when little one begins attending parties and eating sweets, so you will need to monitor their teeth more closely.  It’s near impossible to avoid sugar altogether but you can do your part to prevent cavities. Medicine is often saturated with sugar, which makes a thick syrup (for better taste). Enquire with the pharmacist or doctor about sugar-free options.

Using a dummy

Dummies are fine for the first year, but the dental experts suggest that at the age of one, your child should stop using it as it influences their bite. Children get extremely attached to dummies, keeping it in their mouths morning, noon and night, making it difficult for them to stop. If you opt to use a dummy, dentists suggest that you don’t dip them in anything sweet or sugary, as this also contributes to cavities.

Give your child the best start in oral health with the right treatment for their milk teeth. If you’re looking for a family dentist to treat your child from the moment his/her milk teeth erupt, then contact Currambine Dentists for an appointment.