Oral Care for kids
When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth? Oral care for kids should begin as soon as before their first tooth emerges. Some parents may not be too concerned about kids getting their rotten teeth as their milk teeth will eventually fall off and permanent teeth will grow when they reach 6-7 years old. However, lack of oral care will cause the milk teeth to fall off too early (due to tooth decay) and leave gaps that will disrupt the permanent teeth growth later.
Therefore, good oral hygiene from a young age is a great start to a healthy mouth and life for your child. In this article, we will be sharing the importance of taking good oral care for kids and the best way to prevent cavities.
Oral care for kids
By right, you should start brushing your baby’s teeth before the first tooth appears. A baby’s milk teeth have been fully developed in the jaw after your baby is born. You can’t see them yet but, you will see their first teeth emerges from the gum when they are around 9 months old.
Some of you may notice, your confinement lady or your baby’s nanny will clean your baby’s gum with a damp washcloth during their bath time. This is a good start. Making this a habit will let your baby experience brushing teeth since birth. Gently rubbing their gum will remove the milk residue, to prevent the form of plaque which may damage baby’s teeth when they come in.
By the time your baby reaches about 1 year old, you can start introducing his teeth brushing concept using a baby toothbrush. Let him hold the toothbrush and put it in his mouth, without any use of toothpaste. Make the teeth brushing session a bit fun, get him his favorite character toothbrush, and do it regularly around the same time. Take it slowly as this will take some time and require persistence.
When babies are getting older and they learn how to spit out the toothpaste, you may give them a small pea size of toothpaste.
Early childhood caries, ECC
Do not be surprised that babies can also develop tooth decay since birth. Baby primary teeth are susceptible to tooth decay if parents do not take care of their sugar intake and oral hygiene. It is called early childhood caries, ( is also known as baby bottle tooth decay), a disease that affects teeth in young children between birth to 6 years old due to poor feeding habits. In most studies, ECC has shown significantly correlated to bottle feeding and sleeping with a bottle (that’s why is also called baby bottle tooth decay).
Feeding your child with sugary drinks or milk before bedtime is harmful to the baby’s teeth. Sugars from juices or milk will eat away the enamel when left in the baby’s mouth for too long. Breastfeeding is known to provide the perfect nutrition for babies but frequent contact of enamel with human milk (also containing lactose) has resulted in softening enamel.
The best way to prevent this is to set a certain time for feeding and reduce the frequency of night feeding. At night, less saliva is produced, therefore, high-level sugar or lactose will remain longer in the baby’s mouth can result in rotten teeth at a young age.
Best way to treat tooth decay and prevent cavities
The best way to help your child maintain good oral health is to send him for a dental check-up. Send your child for her first dental check-up when he reaches 1 year old. An early visit to a dentist can help to detect dental problems in the early stages and would also help get your child to get used to the dentist and reduce the fear, as he grows older.
Brushing teeth at least twice a day. Building these healthy teeth brushing habits young can help to prevent cavities at a young age. When your child reaches about 2-3 years old, you can give him a pea-sized baby toothpaste but make sure you teach him to spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing.
Dentists can help to apply a thin wash of resin to the back teeth, a sealant to help seal decay. Talk to a dentist to learn more about that.
It is important to prevent any oral problems in children at a younger age. We, as parents, job is to make sure our child’s teeth are clean, help him build teeth brushing habits at least twice a day, control their sugar intake and visit a dentist regularly.
Some children may have teeth straightness issues when they start growing older. Orthodontic treatment may help to adjust the teeth’ position properly. Manipulation of teeth at a younger age is more effective and can be positioned with minor orthodontia and preventing major orthodontia later on. Visit your child’s dentist once every 3-6 months. You may consult your child’s dentist on any oral problems, early detection and treatment are better for your children’s oral health.
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