It is important for parents to take care of their children’s teeth right from the moment the first teeth appear. Most dentists recommend that children have their first dental visit before their first birthday. At this time, parents can learn how to take care of baby teeth and gums to help them avoid major dental problems in the future.
Some parents think that baby teeth do not really matter because they will be replaced with adult teeth in a few years. However, baby teeth preserve the spacing for the adult teeth and help the baby chew food for good nutrition as well as speak properly. Decayed teeth may lead to gum infections, which can change the spacing and damage the adult teeth beneath the gums.
The standard procedures of brushing and flossing may not be required for infants. They have special oral health needs, such as avoiding baby bottle decay and getting enough fluoride to make new teeth strong. It is even important to clean your baby’s gums before his or her teeth erupt.
Once the teeth start to appear, you can find a very soft baby toothbrush that has a small head, but a handle big enough for you. Right from the beginning, brushing should be done twice a day. It is usually best in the early morning and before bedtime. You can use a tiny dollop of fluoride toothpaste that is about the size of a grain of rice. Be sure to brush the inside and outside of the tiny teeth, and the tongue, if you can. When the toothbrush starts to look worn, it is time to replace it.
When the sugars from milk, juice or any sweetened liquid remain on your baby’s teeth overnight, it feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay. One easy way to help keep your baby’s teeth clean is to give a sip of water after meals or after drinking milk or juice. Most baby food will easily wash off the teeth with a little water.
During a consultation with our expert at Implant Dentistry of Virginia, you can learn more about caring for baby teeth, including information about teething, how to determine the right amount of fluoride and thumb sucking. You may also learn how to detect the beginnings of tooth decay from white or brown pits or spots on the teeth. Our office is conveniently located in Virginia Beach. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your little one.