Over the next few years, your new baby’s gummy smile will gradually be replaced by two rows of beautiful, tiny baby teeth. As a mother, you’ll play a very big part in helping your baby develop healthy teeth and gums for life.
Baby teeth may be small, but they’re very important because they act as placeholders for your child’s permanent teeth. Without a healthy set of baby teeth, your young child will experience trouble chewing and speaking clearly, that’s why it’s critical to keep them clean and free of decay.
You should start caring for your baby’s gums right away by wiping the baby’s gums and teeth after each feeding with a piece of clean gauze or damp cloth to remove plaque. This will allow your infant to get used to having the inside of their mouth touched, and will help prepare them for proper brushing and flossing later.
As your child’s teeth start to appear (usually at about six months) select a baby toothbrush with a small head and grip suitable for your hand. Please note; If you baby is healthy and still has~ developed her first tooth by her first birthday, don’t worry because some babies don’t develop teeth for 12 to 18 months.
Daily dental cleaning should begin as soon as your baby’s first tooth appears because dental problems actually can begin early in life. A major concern is baby bottle tooth decay which can result from an infant using a bottle during naps or at night; or when they nurse continuously from the breast.
As a mother you should make sure your child’s teeth are clean and brushed until your child is five to six years of age, at which time they can be taught to brush and floss properly on their own. The habits your child develops as baby will not only carry them through their formative years, but can be reflected in beautiful, healthy smiles for a lifetime.
Plaque bacteria occurs faster in children than it does in adults and oral diseases (among the most untreated of all childhood diseases) can result in severe tooth decay and pain for the affected child, interfering with eating, sleeping, speaking, learning and playing, whereas children with healthy teeth and gums chew foods easily, learn to speak clearly and grow to smile with confidence.
The discomfort of new teeth erupting in the mouth can cause your baby to become irritable. You can help to ease some of this discomfort by lightly rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger, cool, wet gauze pad or a cooled teething ring. You should also check the baby’s teeth periodically for early signs of tooth decay. Cavities can appear as white, yellow or brown spots or lines on the teeth.
At Laurentian Dental, our doctors and staff enjoy establishing lasting, caring relationships with children, helping them to develop healthy smiles for life that would make any parent proud.
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Yours for better dental health,