How to Look After Your Baby’s Teeth
It is important to develop good dental hygiene habits from an early age. Dental hygiene is a critical component of your overall health and wellbeing. Simple dental practices such as brushing your teeth and regular dental visits will not only protect the teeth but will also prevent oral disease among other far reaching health benefits.
Brushing teeth starts when children are older and have enough teeth in the mouth. However, is it advisable to brush a baby’s teeth?
Baby’s first teeth appear between the ages of 6 and 12 months. The front bottom teeth appear first and will be followed by the front upper teeth but the order may vary from child to child. The first set of teeth is referred to as the baby teeth and will fall out as your child grows older.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you begin caring for baby’s teeth right from the moment the first tooth cuts through the gum. The teeth should be simply wiped with gauze or a slightly damp cloth every day after feeding to keep them clean. Alternatively, you can make use of a rubbery device that you may slip over the index finger when cleaning the baby’s teeth and gums.
As the baby grows older, they are introduced to the tooth brush to clean their teeth. The toothbrush should have very soft bristles that are moistened with water before they brush their teeth. Toothpaste is optional especially when the babies are still very young due to the risk of swallowing. Your greatest worry should be whether any plaque or bacteria is brushed and rinsed out of the mouth.
The emergence of the first tooth also signals that the child should pay their first visit to the dentist. The dentist can offer great advice on how to care for baby’s teeth, the right type of toothbrush and tolerable toothpastes for your baby. Initially, the child must be supervised to ensure brushing is carried out correctly.
Developing good dental habits from a young age will help your children keep their mouth healthy for their entire life.
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