The baby’s first teeth are tiny and will fall off by the time the child starts primary school. Yet doctors have been constantly emphasizing on the importance of brushing the baby’s teeth. There are several reasons.
Tooth decay and cavities in toddlers can permanently deform the actual set of teeth that come in. Bad teeth will also interfere with the quality of nutrition that your child receives. Healthy and straight teeth are also important for the child’s appearance and giving him/her a sense of importance and self-esteem as he/she grows up. It also helps to ingrain in them good personal hygiene and dental habits. Here are some tips on brushing the baby’s teeth.
Tips On Brushing Baby’s Teeth
The First Teeth
The first set of teeth can be wiped clean with wet gauze, pad or flannel or even a baby brush, which is designed for this purpose. The baby brush comes with rows of very tiny bristles. They can be moistened with water and used on the baby’s teeth. Take the help of your paediatrician or pharmacist in recommending a good baby brush. Wiping and brushing the baby’s gums and teeth will do a lot of good getting your baby in the habit of brushing his/her teeth and developing sound dental habits.
When to Brush
Make it a point to brush the baby’s teeth preferably after every meal or at least 3-4 times a day. You can gently wipe the baby’s tongue as well as this harbours a lot of germs and bacteria. Just wipe the front of the tongue in gentle strokes. Rinse the baby’s mouth with water.
Although no toothpaste is necessary for babies’ teeth, you can still use specially formulated ones, which come for infants. Just dab a pea size amount of toothpaste on the baby’s brush. Make sure you do not use too much of toothpaste as the baby will end up swallowing too much of fluoride.
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Set a Good Example
Make sure your baby watches you as you brush your own teeth. This will help her to model good dental habits. Once the toddler develops dexterity, which will not be for a few months, try giving the child the brush to hold in his/her hand. Allow them to start brushing their teeth on their own under your supervision. Inculcate flossing as the child grows. Al of these steps will allow the child to model good dental habits.
Just brushing is not enough. The child also needs sound nutrition for strong teeth and gums. Ensure that the child partakes a diet, which is high on calcium, fluoride, phosphorous and vitamin C. This will help the child to grow strong and healthy teeth. Limit the intake of sugary foods to not more than twice a day. Let the child eat dry fruits like raisins, which will satisfy his/her sweet tooth and prevent cavities.
Serve sweets with meals to reduce the damage and make sure you brush the baby’s teeth after he/she has consumed sweets. Give them a lot of cheese, which can help prevent the formation of plaque and tartar. Take your child annually to a dentist for checkups in order to ascertain the dental health of the child.