How to Care for Your Child’s First Teeth? - Advice from Your Local Pediatric Dentist in Langley
If you have noticed your baby’s first tooth protruding through the gum, it’s time to start taking a pro-active approach to your child’s oral hygiene – if you haven’t already. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy and intact at a very young age will help ensure they are able to chew and talk without any complications as they grow older. Poor dental habits can also lead to a number of other health issues that are avoidable.
You should begin brushing your child’s teeth in between the ages of six to 10 months. Use a baby toothbrush and very little fluoride toothpaste, which can help make the teeth stronger and protect against early tooth decay. It’s best to brush them in the morning and before bed in whichever way you find to be the easiest; it’s okay for your child to be sitting up or lying down. Always remember to avoid sharing spoons or cups with your child, or cleaning the pacifier with your mouth, as the germs in your mouth can cause tooth decay in your baby’s mouth.
Your Baby’s First Year
- If your baby does not have teeth, use a clean, damp cloth to gently clean the gums each day.
- When teeth begin to come through, brush them twice a day with minimal fluoride toothpaste.
- Give your child a sipper cup with juices, breast milk and formula only during mealtime to help prevent tooth decay.
- During bedtime, give your baby water, as any liquids with sugar will puddle around your baby’s teeth as he/she sleeps and cause tooth decay.
1 to 3 Years Old
- Brush your child’s teeth in the morning and before bed with very little fluoride toothpaste. If you have a hard time, try to make it fun for your child by playing a tooth brushing video online or their favourite show.
- Your child should see the dentist by the age of one. Consult your family dentist about in-office fluoride treatments.
- Your baby should be regularly drinking water from a sipper cup, especially before and after a meal. Try to stick to a maximum of four to six ounces of 100% fruit juice per day.
- Regularly examine your child’s teeth for spots and stains. If you notice a problem, schedule a visit with your kid’s dentist in Langley.
3 to 6 Years Old
- Continue brushing your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste – an amount similar to the size of a pea.
- Be sure to purchase the right size toothbrush for your child. As their mouths grow, so should the size of their toothbrush.
- Start encouraging your child to brush his/her own teeth. They will be limited with coordination, so be there to monitor and ensure they do not swallow the toothpaste.
- When your child has two or more teeth that touch, you can begin flossing their teeth on a daily basis.
- Schedule regular visits with your family dentist for your child’s dental check-ups and cleanings.