Sad statistics say that a fair number of children suffer from tooth decay. How should you prevent this serious disease and properly care for your baby’s teeth?
The teeth of your child start to form as early as in the foetal life, so as a future mother keep this in mind and enhance your diet with vitamins necessary for the proper development of your baby’s strong teeth. This includes food with vitamins A and D, and also food which contains appropriate quantities of calcium and phosphorus. You should care for the oral cavity of your newborn baby from the very beginning by cleaning the baby’s small gums with a napkin or soft cloth moistened with boiled water (you can add a little hydrogen peroxide) on a daily basis. You can also use a small silicone hair brush which you should place on your finger. On the occasion of cleaning the gums from bacteria, rub them gently, which will be soothing for your baby.
Since the emergence of the first tooth clean it regularly, twice a day. Of course, you can give your baby a tooth brush to play with and practise brushing the teeth but in the end it is always the parents that should make sure that the teeth are cleaned carefully. At each stage of your baby’s development, you should use a toothbrush and toothpaste which are appropriate for the age of the child. Do not brush your child’s teeth with toothpaste for adults because it has inadequate composition and when swallowed, there is a risk of unpleasant ailment to the alimentary system. Place just a little amount of paste intended for infants and young children on your kid’s toothbrush. During cleaning, part of the paste will probably be swallowed, which is not dangerous for your child, though.
How to brush the teeth?
When cleaning your child’s teeth, do not push the brush too much to the gums. Start cleaning from the external vertical part of the maxillary teeth. Brush them with a circular move going forward. Then holding the brush vertically, clean the inner part of the maxillary teeth. Proceed in the same way with the mandibular teeth. In the end, sweep out the remains of food and sediment from the horizontal surface of the teeth. As you can see, teeth must be brushed carefully and accurately, so take your time. It is you as a parent that is responsible for your baby’s healthy teeth! To minimize the risk of decay you should also reduce sugar in your child’s diet, i.e. eliminate sweets and soft drinks, or in fact do not introduce them to his diet at all.
Let brushing the teeth be a pleasant ritual for the whole family. Babies gladly imitate what they see, so parents should give them a good example in terms of oral hygiene. Go shopping with your child to let him choose a nice colourful toothbrush and invent a joyful song or poem which will remind the family about this ritual and make it fun. After each brushing of teeth, tell your child that he has done a good job and for sure he will have a much better attitude to this task.
First visit at the dentist
Teething is also closely connected with the subject matter of the first visit at the dentist. It is certainly quite a stressful experience, primarily for parents but also for their children. To minimize the stress, you should accustom the baby to the visits at the dentist as soon as possible, while building positive associations with such experience. Remember that your anxiety, even without reason, is often spread to your child. Many parents act very sensibly when they take their children to the dentist for the first time even before the process of teeth eruption begins. At the time of such visits, the dentist will look at the child’s gums and make sure that everything works correctly. On this occasion, your kid will have an opportunity to familiarise himself with the doctor and the place. During the first visit, ask the dentist for guidance on oral hygiene and procedures to be applied in case of painful and burdensome teething. If you do not go to the dentist earlier, it is high time to do it when the first tooth emerges. The final time to see a doctor is turning 2 years of age, but it is better to do so when your baby is much younger.
Remember that it is extremely important to choose a reliable dentist who can approach children appropriately and encourage them to regular oral hygiene during the visit. If your child gets positive associations with the visit at the dentist and matters related to brushing his teeth, it will definitely be easier for him to continue caring for his milk teeth at home.