When my children were babies , the question I used to always get asked is “How many teeth does your baby have?”
We long as mother’s for the first few teeth to appear, yet we watch in pain with what seems like suffering when they first appear.
The red face, sleepless nights, constant drooling, irritability and explosive nappies were just a few of the symptoms my babies experienced.
I am sure you can relate right?
Baby teeth help your child to learn to chew, and speak properly. The most important job for teeth is to maintain teeth space in your child’s gums for their adult teeth.
In saying this, the rate of childhood decay is rapidly increasing. Babies and Toddlers are just as much of a risk for dental decay, as an older child or adult, so caring for your baby’s teeth needs to begin at birth.
By starting good oral hygiene habits early, your child will be well equipped to have healthy teeth for life.
So what should we do to prepare our babies for healthy teeth and gums?
Here are a few guidelines which may help you on the path to great dental hygiene with your family.
- Even before your baby’s teeth appear, you should gently wipe their gums with a moistened soft cloth once a day.
- Once teeth start to appear, use a toothbrush specially designed for babies, with a small head and soft, rounded bristles to gently massage their teeth and gums.
- Up to 18 months of age, babies teeth should only be brushed with water, once a day after the evening feed.
- Once your toddler has become used to brushing and during their third year, start brushing twice a day, after breakfast and just before bed.
Tips to Avoid Dental Decay:
- Use a Low Flouride toothpaste from 18 months up. Use sparingly and have child spit out excess
- If your baby has teeth, its best to avoid settling them to sleep overnight with a breastfeed or bottle of milk, flavoured milk, cordial, soft drink or fruit juice. Bacteria feed on the sugar in these drinks and form plaque acids on teeth, which in turn eat into the tooth surface and cause decay.
- If your baby needs to suck on something to settle for sleep offer a dummy.
- If your baby has a breastfeed before bed, wipe down teeth with a moistened cloth before sleep
Do you have any tips to add to this list?