Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
Keeping a child’s teeth in healthy condition is one of the biggest challenges that parents face. Most parents are clueless on when to start brushing their children’s teeth or how to do it properly. Is it okay for your 3 year old to start flossing? Or does your child need braces? The questions seem to be endless.
Many parents find it difficult to determine the kind of dental care needed for their kids. But one goal is definite: to fight cavities and prevent tooth decay. To help you with this, here are some tips:
- Start even before the first tooth appears. Baby teeth start to form during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. So once the baby is out, you can start cleaning the gums using clean, damp cloth to remove harmful bacteria.
- As the teeth start to erupt, clean them using a soft, infant toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste (you can use either fluoride or fluoride free.
- Floss in between the teeth as soon as the teeth touch.
- Teach your child to spit when brushing.
- Only use a pea-size amount of toothpaste, especially with kids 6 years and below.
Tooth decay is possible even in babies, especially when you don’t practice good feeding habits. Baby teeth’s number 1 enemy is the bottle, particularly when given at nighttime or to put the baby to sleep. The sugars from milk or juice, when left in contact with teeth for hours, can destroy the enamel. This can cause pitting, pocking and discoloration especially on the front teeth.
Avoid giving the bottle at bedtime. It may be convenient, but doing such takes toll on your child’s teeth. You may teach your child how to use the cup as early as 6 months and if possible, give water or clean the mouth after drinking milk and avoid feeding him sugary foods