We all know that our dental health care routine is something we acquire when we’re kids. This is why it is necessary to know about teeth and gum for ourselves and our children. This way, we can help them establish a meticulous dental and oral health care routine that they can take with them to adulthood. At the same time, we can also ensure that their teeth and gums are healthy and well-taken care of.
How should we take care of our children’s oral health? Simple. We must begin caring for their teeth and gums even before their first baby tooth comes out. We shouldn’t have this mistaken mindset that since they’re baby teeth and therefore will get replaced eventually, we shouldn’t care for them because it is simply not true.
Healthy baby teeth are not only essential but necessary. They not only hold spaces for permanent teeth, but they also help form your child’s face as well as make it easier for them to learn to talk and chew food.
When do baby teeth come in?
As we know, having a teething baby isn’t a walk in the park. Since it is painful for them, babies usually cry a lot. It would be frustrating for a parent who doesn’t know what to expect, which is why it is always better to be prepared.
Some of the signs that will tip you off to your baby’s teething include drooling, chewing on things, irritability, crankiness, disrupted eating and sleeping patterns, and general fussiness. Their tender and possibly swollen gums might also give them fever and diarrhea in some extreme cases.
A baby’s first tooth usually appears by the sixth month, but it can begin as early as the third. The first and second baby pearls most often pop up from the bottom gums. These are called the central incisors. The four front upper teeth will be visible about a month or two later. These will continue until all the baby teeth have popped up and said hi.
Teeth and gum care for infants
Since your newborn to one-year-old baby cannot care for their baby teeth, you should know how to do it for them. As we know, whenever teeth aren’t cared for, tooth decay happens. It would be a real shame to subject our infants to such neglect.
How can we help them avoid tooth decay and other dental problems? We can start by cleaning our baby’s mouth twice a day after feeding. This is not only one way to establish a health care routine but is also extremely important to prevent plaque from causing cavities. Especially since cavities form faster on baby teeth than on adult teeth. So, even before the first tooth comes in, you may gently use a clean and damp gauze pad over your finger to wipe your child’s teeth and gums.
Cavities on baby teeth can affect and harm your child’s permanent teeth, even when they haven’t made an appearance yet. It is also excruciating for your baby. The infection it develops can also affect your infant’s physical health. Not to mention the costly dental care it would probably rack up.
Teeth and gum care for toddlers
After about a year of life, your infant becomes a toddler. That is, until their third year, and then they will be called something else. To care for your toddler’s teeth and gums, make sure to clean their baby teeth with toddler-friendly toothbrushes. Make sure to use a rice grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush their teeth in circular motions. Make sure to include their tongue in your cleaning.
By their second year, you may start to let them learn how to brush their teeth. But make sure to be with them in every brushing for quality checking. You don’t want them learning all the wrong things.
Infants and toddlers aren’t responsible for their food and lifestyle choices. That said, as their parent, you should make sure that they aren’t eating or drinking frequently throughout the day. This doesn’t mean that you should prevent them from being happily fed– it only means that the sugar in their food and beverage turns into acid after twenty minutes. This makes frequent eating and drinking bad for their dental health.
For infants, you need to make sure that you limit the use of bottles at feeding times. Using it as a pacifier to make them stop crying or fall asleep increases the risk of developing dental problems. If they fall asleep while you’re feeding, remove either the bottle or your breast from their mouth. Moreover, once their first tooth pops up, avoid frequent and nighttime feedings altogether. Also, get them to a dentist or dental hygienist for a fluoride coating. Once they turn one, wean them off the baby bottle in favor of a cup.
For toddlers, make sure to give them sips of water at any time during the day whenever they get thirsty. Try to limit their consumption of other drinks like juice boxes and cool-aid at meals. Moreover, make sure to rinse their mouths after eating or drinking something sugary. Lastly, offer your toddler more raw, crunchy fruits and veggies, yogurt, and cheese for food instead of gummy junk food that tend to stick to their teeth for a long time.
All in all, you should exercise caution in what you feed your toddlers. Because whatever dental issues they develop while they’re young will have an adverse effect when they finally get their permanent teeth. Try to help them develop a meticulous dental health care routine so that they will know what to do in the future to maintain their dental health. This doesn’t only include brushing and flossing habits but also diet and lifestyle. Lastly, make sure to explain to them why you’re doing everything that you’re doing. Their understanding will go a long way towards their compliance. Plus, it’s only fitting that they know why before they comply.