The foundation for a healthy and beautiful set of teeth starts right at infancy, even before the first tooth breaks through the gums. Thus, it’s imperative for you as a parent to care for their oral health with these tips:
- After every meal, take a wet washcloth and gently cleanse your infant’s gum of any sugars or acids which could be harmful. A tooth could decay even before it’s visible.
- Avoid putting your baby to bed with their bottle because constant contact with sugars from milk and juices can cause “bottle mouth.” Bottle mouth is characterized by pitted, discolored and pocked teeth and it occurs when the sugars left in the mouth start eating away at the gums and enamel. Seek expert help at the first sign of bottle mouth.
- As teeth come in, use an infant toothbrush with just water. Children would rather swallow toothpaste than spit it out. Toothpaste could harm them if swallowed in large amounts.
- At the age of two, your child can start to use toothpaste. Wait until they are three to use any kinds of toothpaste containing fluoride. Then, just a pea-sized amount should be used. Make it part of their daily routine until age 5. Ensure adult supervision always.
- Set specific feeding times for your child throughout the day. To protect their oral health, do not allow your child to suck on a bottle longer than is necessary.
- Use a kid’s dentist. Their approach is more preventive, and they can refer you to a specialist if necessary.
- Break your child of habits like sucking their thumb, using a pacifier, or drinking from a bottle before the age of 4. This will stop their permanent teeth from misalignment and jaw issues which would be expensive to rectify in future.
These tips will help you care for your child’s oral health now to prevent extensive problems later.