Due to the fact that baby teeth, also known as, primary teeth, are eventually replaced by adult teeth, many people fail to comprehend that baby teeth are actually instrumental in ensuring a child’s long-term dental health. As soon as the first baby teeth appear, you should begin cleaning them after meals with a moist gauze pad.
Once your child is comfortable with toothbrushes, brush twice per day. Begin with an extra-soft toothbrush. Use a small dab of toothpaste if your child allows. If not, brushing without toothpaste is suitable. If possible, gently floss each day, to ensure gum health.
Assist your child with brushing and flossing until they have the ability to properly to brush their teeth themselves, usually at around 7 to 10 years old.
After that, check their efforts periodically. It’s good habit to occasionally use disclosing tablets, which contain vegetable dye that stains missed plaque red and thus making it easily detectable.
Fluoride is an effective preventive tool for infants. It’s important to first test the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. Dentists sometimes prescribe fluoride tablets, and generally recommend fluoride toothpaste and treatments after in-office teeth cleanings.
The most serious dental problem for young children is baby bottle tooth decay, also called early childhood caries or bottle syndrome. It is caused by the constant presence of milk, formula, or fruit juice in a child’s mouth during the night, breast-feeding, naps or extended periods during the day. Use water at these times to prevent this decay of baby teeth, and always clean your child’s teeth immediately after each feeding.
Children learn best by imitation, so provide a great example by regularly brushing and flossing your own teeth. Regular praise of their hygienic efforts will get your child started down the right path towards excellent oral hygiene.