As a new parent, the list of things to learn and prepare for seems endless, but luckily dealing with teething and caring for your child’s teeth comes a little later. But nevertheless, it is important to have some idea of what to do since children’s teeth need to be cared fore in a slightly different way than adult teeth.
As soon as the baby is born you can start “brushing” by wiping the gums down with a wet (preferably warm) washcloth. Take special note of the milk that usually pools under the tongue because it will sit there and cause bad breath or begin to cause cavities as soon as the teeth erupt.
• When more teeth come in, you should help your children brush their teeth by using a small child-sized toothbrush. The bristles should be very soft, but to make them softer you can soak the brush in warm water before brushing.
• Consult your dentist to determine your child’s fluoride needs, this may then be a factor for deciding the kind of toothpaste to use.
• Because children often develop cavities in their molars first, spend extra time brushing this area.
• A child should begin flossing as soon as teeth begin touching. To make the process easier, using a flossing stick can help.
• Fluoride-free toothpaste is available if you want the flavoring and breath fresher without worrying about the child swallowing too much toothpaste.
Other advice to help keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity free:
• Don’t let your infant or child sleep with a bottle or juice of any kind. If left with their cup or bottle, children can fall asleep with them in their mouths, giving more opportunity for sugars from the beverage to harm their teeth.
• Avoid giving children soda or excessively sugary drinks that could lead to cavities.
• Similarly, sticky candies and sugar gum can also be very damaging to children’s teeth.
• Brushing in the morning and just before bed for 2 minutes at a time will help to keep bacteria from building up.
• Flavored mouthwashes can be another great way to get kids to care for their teeth post brushing.
• Provide cheese as a healthy snack that also helps prevent tooth decay.