Caring For Baby Teeth
How to care for a child's baby teeth and why they are very important.
Milk teeth are very important as they have to last about 6 years until the permanent set grows. Early or premature loss of milk teeth give problems like overcrowding of another tooth into its place. Caring for milk teeth encourages good habits in dental health and hygiene.
The approximate age for the first tooth is 6 months and by the age of 3, the child would have his full set of milk teeth. From then, schedule routine dental appointments for him to get extra cleaning, treatment or other dental care.
It's never too early to start oral hygiene. Babies' gums should be wiped morning and night with moist cotton wool to remove milk curds. When a tooth comes out, start cleaning using a clean cloth or baby toothbrush with a drop of mild toothpaste. As more teeth grow, use a soft toothbrush with a tiny amount of sugar free toothpaste.
Teach a toddler how to brush his own teeth but supervise closely. Go over his teeth again for cleanliness. Make brushing time fun with songs, games and praise. Brush after every meal at home. If that's not possible, brush every morning and night.
Avoid sweet snacks between meals. The sugars will damage the teeth. Brushing too often after snacks may cause bleeding gums.
After the night brush, give only plain water to drink. Don't undo the hard work of brushing. Otherwise, make it clear that you have to brush his teeth again.
Baby should drink from a cup to prevent coating teeth and gums with milk or other fluids. Fruit juices are acidic and damage the teeth. Give only in dilute form or give water after every drink to rinse his mouth.
Children with a full set of milk teeth should brush for at least a minute. Teach proper brushing techniques to cover every part of the teeth. be generous with praise. Children will learn to take pride in their clean teeth and sparkling smile.