Now that your baby’s teeth are on their way in, it’s time to start taking care of them. As soon as the first tooth comes in (generally between the fourth and twelfth month), your baby’s teeth are subject to the destructive action of acidity. The food eaten by your child leaves sugar in the oral cavity and on the teeth. And oral bacteria metabolize sugar. The acids that cause decay are bacterial waste products. These acids begin to initiate the dental plaque and can lead to tooth decay.
How to take care of baby’s first teeth? The answer is simple:
- Moderate sugar consumption
- A toothpaste for children
- A toothbrush for children
Sweets are not on the baby’s menu. It is rather the hidden sugar, naturally occurring in milk, fruit and vegetables. Cereals, cheese and meat are not a problem. In contrast, acidifying drinks such as orange juice erode teeth enamel. The bottle filled with sweet drink is a big issue because baby will enjoy drinking it all the time. The sugar will come into his mouth and will be continually transformed into acid, causing dental erosion. We can only recommend water as the best, healthiest and cheapest drink we can offer to our children and ourselves.
Children’s toothpaste contains less fluoride than toothpaste for adults. The infant can swallow it without problems. When it is in contact with the small teeth, the fluoride is left on the enamel, strengthens it and makes it more resistant. Therefore, acids will have much more difficulty in damaging baby’s teeth. If the child keeps spitting out the toothpaste, it is possible that he or she does not appreciate its taste, finds it too strong or unpleasant. It is better to try a different product. Mind you, we adults, also have our preferences concerning the taste of our toothpaste !
The toothbrush for children
The toothbrush should be soft and playful. The contact of the toothpaste with the teeth and the tolerance of the small toothbrush in the mouth of your child are more important than the control of the brushing. Babies observe a lot and are perfect imitators. They want to do everything like their parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents. Babies can watch us brush our teeth and then, try to move the toothbrush in their own mouth. Brushing teeth becomes an important event. It is a small step in children’s life towards taking care of their own bodies. Finally, little children will accept to have a toothbrush in their mouth and Mom or Dad can help brushing too. It is recommended to brush your teeth two to three times a day, ideally in the evening after the last meal. If the child does not tolerate the small toothbrush, parents can also use their index finger to clean their baby’s teeth. It is a gentle initiation with the aim of passing to a more effective tool: the toothbrush.
If the teeth are healthy, that is, when they have no cavities or any particular defect, it is not necessary to consult a dentist at this early age. The first teeth stimulate the growth of the jaw. They will fall and will be replaced by permanent teeth. At this point, it will be important to make an appointment with the dentist to check the teeth’s position in the jaw.
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