As a parent you play a big role in keeping your child’s teeth clean and healthy. Baby teeth, known as primary teeth, usually start to erupt at 6-10 months of age and are at risk for decay as soon as they first appear. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable. Regular brushing, flossing and a healthy diet will help prevent cavities. Most children will have 20 baby teeth by the time they turn three years old so we must make sure each and every tooth is looked after.
The Canadian Dental Association has some great tips for our young teething patients.
If your child is getting his or her teeth and seems to be in pain, you can rub the gums with a clean finger or the back of a small cool spoon. Do not give your child teething biscuits. They may have sugar added or contain hidden sugars. Do not ignore a fever. Getting new teeth does not make babies sick or give them a fever. If your child has a fever, check with your doctor.
Parents should wipe their babies gums with a washcloth after feeding. By doing this it will help get rid of sticky plaque that can lead to cavities. Once your baby has teeth they should be brushed with a soft bristled baby toothbrush. You may start using fluoride toothpaste at three years of age. Use a pea-sized amount and make sure your child spits it out after brushing. Flossing is important to keep the areas in between teeth clean, a toothbrush cannot always reach these areas. Introduce flossing to your children at an early age to make it part of their daily oral hygiene routine.
Regular dental check ups and cleaning are another important step in ensuring that your child’s oral health is optimal. A dentist and hygienist will work together to make sure all your child’s teeth are developing normally and there are no dental problems. We can also answer any specific questions you have concerning your child’s growth and development.
Remember a healthy mouth is a happy mouth!