Caring for Little Teeth
Many parents will know the signs to indicate your baby has begun teething.
When your child wants to put everything in their mouth and bite, or is drooling, you can be sure that the first teeth are on the way.
Once you see a tooth erupt it is important to keep it clean because decay can happen even at this early stage. Establishing a tooth cleaning habit as early as possible can help to avoid decay and make oral care an everyday but important routine.
By the time they are toddlers, children can begin to try brushing for themselves. Cleaning your child’s teeth should be part of their daily routine but children will definitely need help and supervision at first.
- Clean your child’s teeth twice a day, including once before bed.
- Use a small toothbrush with soft, round-ended bristles of differing lengths, and a small, angled head. Change the brush at least every three months.
- Use a pea-sized smear of low-fluoride toothpaste for your toddler.
- Brush using small, circular movements. Don’t draw from side to side, as this may damage their gums.
- Concentrate on one section of teeth at a time, and don’t forget the backs. Make sure you clear all traces of food from on or between the teeth.
- Encourage your child to spit out any excess toothpaste, but don’t rinse their mouth with water. This can wash away the excess toothpaste, reducing the benefit of the fluoride.
Give lots of praise and encouragement for cooperating with toothbrushing. Letting the child choose their own toothbrush may also make it more fun.
If your child makes a habit of swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste while their teeth are forming, they may develop fluorosis. Mild fluorosis usually causes a shiny, pearlescent stain on the teeth. In severe cases, fluorosis can give your toddler’s teeth a noticeable mottled look, but this is uncommon.
Always encourage your child to spit out toothpaste after brushing to reduce your toddler’s risk of fluorosis.
Regular brushing, check ups and a healthy diet are the best way to ensure your child is growing with a healthy set of teeth.
If you need any information about baby teeth, please do give us a call!