Complete Guide to Your Child’s Oral Hygiene
A child’s mouth changes rapidly as they grow. As a parent, you don’t want to compromise your child’s oral hygiene before they start going to school. So take a look at our complete guide for your child’s oral health to keep their teeth and gums in the best shape.
Wipe Teeth With a Soft, Damp Cloth After Feedings
As soon as the baby’s teeth come through, you need to wipe them every day. When your child is between the age of 0-3 years, you cannot use a brush directly on the little tooth bud popping up through the gums. Since the teeth are still developing, an early application of toothpaste or toothbrush can affect the oral health and growth of the baby. Instead of using a toothbrush or a toothpaste, get a soft, moistened washcloth or piece of gauze and wipe the teeth and gums gently at least twice a day. Wipe the teeth after feedings to remove any bacteria and plaque from clinging to gums and teeth.
Use a Soft-bristled Children’s Toothbrush
When your baby has reached the age of 3-6 years, use a brush with:
- Soft bristle,
- Small head, and
- Large handle.
First, wet the toothbrush and gently brush the baby’s teeth front and back. Teach and assist your child until they can rinse and spit out without assistance. Keep a frequent look at the baby’s teeth for signs of tooth decay.
Use a Rice-grain-sized Amount of Fluoride Toothpaste
Use a rice-grain-sized fluoride toothpaste when brushing your kid’s teeth. Do not use any toothpaste until the age of three as the teeth and gums are still developing and the chemicals in the toothpaste can irritate those tender gums. Once the child is three years old, start using the toothpaste and increase the amount eventually as the child grows. Ask your pediatric dentist before using the fluoride toothpaste for your kids.
Prevent Them From Sleeping With a Bottle in Mouth
Baby bottle tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues in children. This type of decay also causes discolouration and minor pitting. Putting the baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice can cause baby bottle tooth decay. Sugars from milk and juices can remain in your baby’s mouth overnight and feed decay-causing bacteria. Thus, feed your child with a bottle during the day and don’t leave the bottle in their mouth for a long time.
Limit Thumbsucking and Use of Pacifier
By the age of four years, your child should quit sucking on pacifiers and thumbsucking. Prolonged thumbsucking can interfere with the growth of the mouth. Your child’s habit of thumbsucking and even the use of a pacifier can result in teeth alignment issues and an improper bite in the long run. So, encourage them to discontinue both of these by the time they celebrate their fourth birthday.
As a parent, you need to put various efforts for a few minutes to ensure that your child’s teeth and gums remain healthy throughout their life. A little time and attention now can later result in a healthy smile for your child. Along with these tips, we also advise you to take your child to a pediatric dentist from time to time. If you didn’t take your child to the dentist in the last six months, book an appointment right away.