Maintaining a healthy mouth through proper oral care should start early in life. While the baby teeth are eventually lost, they are vital for eating and proper speech development. As well, they hold spaces where the adult teeth will eventually locate.
It is good practice to start cleaning your child’s gums every day with a wet washcloth. Use of a toothbrush should be introduced when the baby teeth erupt into the mouth. Pick a toothbrush rated for your child’s age and use water instead of toothpaste to start if your child tends to swallow toothpaste. Once your child is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can begin using regular toothpaste. Depending on your child’s cavities risk, your dental professional may suggest using a small amount of toothpaste with fluoride.
Parents should help their child brush their teeth until they develop the ability to brush by themselves. Once your child can adequately write their name, it may give some idea of the level of their skill. Ensure that your child’s teeth are brushed at least twice a day. Brushing once before bed is essential for maintaining good oral health. Flossing should be introduced when two teeth are touching each other on either side. Dental plaque tends to stick between teeth and toothbrush bristles cannot fit in between tight areas. Mouthrinses may also be used if your child can avoid swallowing it.
Things such as baby formula, cow’s milk and breast milk contain sugars. If these sugars are left in contact with your child’s teeth for prolonged periods of time, it will lead to tooth decay. Putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything aside from water will increase the risk of developing cavities.
Contact us with any questions related to your child’s oral health, or to schedule a check-up visit for your child.