Dental health is essential for everyone, including your child’s primary teeth. Now teething can be a drooly and a bit whiny period, but once your kid gets over this phase, you’ll finally notice the first tiny tooth emerging through the gums. Over the next few years, your kid should have two rows of teeth.
Without these cute little teeth, your child will find it difficult to chew, smile, or speak effectively without a healthy set of primary teeth. Even though baby teeth are tiny, they are vital because they are placeholders for permanent adult teeth. Therefore, taking care of your kid’s teeth and preventing tooth decay is essential.
By beginning early, your kid becomes accustomed to the daily regimen. This is because any damage or decay to the teeth or teeth-supporting structures can lead to considerable wear and deterioration of their permanent set of teeth.
So here’s a comprehensive guide to understanding how to take the best care of your child’s dental health from the initial stage.
Why is Dental Care Vital in Children?
Dental health holds paramount importance in a child’s initial stage of development. Healthy oral habits can help prevent tooth enamel or dentin damage in infants and children.
Besides, oral hygiene boosts a child’s overall health. Healthy teeth help your child eat and speak. Poor dental hygiene may lead to tooth problems and infections.
Dental Care Up to 12 Months From Birth
The time between the child’s birth and 12 months is one of the most delicate phases of dental care. So here are a few tips for you:
It includes picking the baby’s gums with a highly soft, damp, clean cloth at least twice daily. Whenever you spot their first teeth, clean them at least once daily. It is best recommended to do so at bedtime. Furthermore, use soft bristle toothbrushes that are designed for babies.
Also, avoid leaving the baby with a bottle in bed. After they are six months old, try introducing sippy cups. If your child needs a bottle during naptime, try offering water instead of milk or juice.
Remember to clean their teeth after breastfeeding, especially before they sleep.
Don’t forget to avoid putting or sweetening a soother or bottle nipple in anyone else’s mouth, including yours. It can transfer bacteria, yeast, and viruses from the adult to the child.
Dental Care Between 1 and 2 Years
You must take your child for their first dental visit by 1 or 2 years old. But that’s not enough!
Ensure that your child brushes their teeth daily with a dentist-recommended fluoride toothpaste. Use regular cups for all drinks once your child is between 12 and 15 months of age. Try to limit the use of soother in naptime or bedtime.
Furthermore, check if your child shows early tooth damage or decay, do not hesitate to consult with your dentist. Lastly, visit your pediatric dentist at least once every month because, east or west, your dentist knows the best!
Dental Care Between 3 and 4 Years
As your loved one ages, start teaching your child the concept of “2 for 2”.
It means brushing twice a day for 2 minutes. Introduce them to fluoride toothpaste and educate them on how and why it is important for their teeth. Oh, and do not forget to mention that a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is enough to keep their teeth clean. Most importantly, teach them to spit and not to swallow.
It would be a great decision if you could inspect them when they are brushing their teeth, or you may simply start brushing your teeth with them. This way, they feel encouraged, and brushing sessions will be fun!
Why do dentists recommend Fluoride based toothpaste?
Fluoride is essential in preventing the decay of teeth and it also strengthens the other layer of the enamel of the teeth.
And therefore, it is always recommended or emphasized by every professional to include fluoride in the dental healthcare of every individual, especially a baby or a child.
General Dental Care, Irrespective of Age Group
No matter your child’s age, keeping an eye on their dental health is a must!
Some of the most crucial things including washing their toothbrush before and after using it.
Ensure they are brushing properly with the right motion without hurting their gingiva.
Offer water between meals, and avoid candies, sugary drinks, dried fruits, and juices.
It would help if you also took your child for regular visits to a dental professional. The recommended interval is every six months if the professional does not suggest anything otherwise.
Lastly, if your child continues thumb-sucking after permanent teeth start appearing, contact a dentist about the issue.
Baby Dental Care: Essential Points to Remember
Taking care of your oral health isn’t easy, and now being a parent, it is vital to monitor your child’s oral health as well. So here are a few tips that can make your life easier!
Do not wait for the teeth to appear: Begin dental care and hygiene maintenance of your child before their teeth appear. Although the methods of caring for your child’s teeth might differ at different teething stages, you must start caring for them from the beginning.
- Use the soothers carefully: No sweeteners must be provided to the soothers because it boosts the calorie intake and can trigger the formation of cavities in your child.
- Do not skip taking care of primary teeth: Or, as you might also call them, the milk teeth are as important as the permanent teeth. So, take good care of them to avoid any traces of decay of the primary teeth. And the neglect of primary teeth might also lead to corrosion and damage to your child’s permanent teeth.
- Take every measure to avoid cavities: Avoid sticky food or excessively and consistently sweet items for your child. And if you find any signs of tooth cavities, immediately resort to a dental health professional for immediate remedies.
- Start a routine oral regime: Help your baby practice brushing their teeth with toothpaste from age 2. Try to incorporate a small amount of fluoride, almost the size of a grain of rice. However, a professional’s recommendation would not harm you if you are unsure what to do.
Prevention is better than cure!
Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for a child’s health and well-being. As a parent, you play a vital role in ensuring your child develops healthy dental habits early on. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, maintaining a healthy diet, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
As discussed above, it is recommended that children should have their first dental checkup by their first birthday or within six months after their first tooth erupts.
Regular dental visits can help to detect and prevent any dental problems at an early stage, such as tooth decay or gum disease. Moreover, early intervention can help to prevent more serious issues from developing, which could require more invasive and costly treatments.
We hope this guide was helpful. If you still have questions or concerns, ask us in the comments. We’ll be happy to help!