As we all know, dental treatment is essential for children and adults, but what about baby teeth? Dental Clinics in Sri Lanka including ourselves believe that we should start taking care of the teeth and gums, even before the first baby’s teeth appeared.
Why healthy baby teeth are important
Dental health is essential to the overall health of the baby. They help babies eat and form sounds and speech. It can also affect the growth of the baby’s jaw. As the child grows up, good oral hygiene helps to develop good dental habits. Poor oral hygiene can lead to infections, diseases, and other dental problems.
What is early childhood tooth cavities?
Child tooth decay refers to the development of cavities in infants aged six months to 6 years. If your child has teeth, he is at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs due to many factors, including bacteria commonly found in the mouth. Left untreated, it can penetrate deep into the tooth, causing infection and pain and even damaging the lower adult’s teeth.
Caring for Baby’s Gums
You can begin caring for baby’s gums right away. But at first, the care would not involve toothpaste and a toothbrush. Instead, take these steps:
- Take a soft and wet piece of washcloth.
- Smoothly wipe down your baby’s gums at least two times a day.
- Mainly wipe your baby’s gums after before bedtime and feedings.
- It will wash off bacteria and inhibit them from adhering to gums. Bacteria can leave behind a sticky plaque that harms baby teeth as they come in.
How Do I Care for My Baby’s Teeth?
Proper dental treatment starts before the kid’s first tooth appeared. Wipe off the gum or baby toothbrush with a clean damp cloth every day to remove harmful bacteria.
When their teeth start to come in, follow the tips below:
- Brush their teeth with baby’s toothbrush. Use water and toothpaste. Talk about fluoride with your dentist.
- When your baby’s teeth touch, you can start flossing between them.
- When they were about two years old, start teaching your kids to spit while brushing teeth. Do not pour or spit water, as it may swallow toothpaste.
Even children can have decayed teeth. The sugar content of the juice, formula, or milk that remains in your baby’s teeth for several hours can swallow the enamel, the layer of teeth that protects teeth from decay. It may turn into “bottle mouth” or “tooth decay”. When this happens, the front teeth can become discolored, contracted, or sink. Cavities can form, and in severe cases, it may be necessary to remove the decaying tooth.
How can tooth decay be prevented?
Practice good dental treatment
Good dental care includes daily cleaning and examination of your child’s teeth and mouth. Lift your lips so that you can adequately see the gum line during cleaning, looking for white or brown spots that may be the first sign of tooth decay.
Use a soft toothbrush or a damp cloth to gently clean your baby’s mouth. When your teeth start to enter, use a toothbrush coated with fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice). Brush your teeth in the morning, especially before going to bed. When your child is three years old, use a “pea-sized” amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush with a soft baby toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste used in small amounts is considered safe and effective against tooth decay.
Drink water between feeds
Water is the most suitable choice between regular feeding and thirst. Instruct your baby to use a glass of water without a lid when he is 6-9 months old.
Early dental visit
Your child should visit a dentist before the age of two. After that, he or she should undergo regular “happy tooth” checks to ensure healthy teeth. If you have any questions, please consult Cayo Dental in Kandy.
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