Taking Care of Your Baby’s Teeth
Taking care of your child’s teeth, even their first baby teeth, is key in preventing tooth decay. Parents are often amazed when asked if they are flossing and brushing their baby’s teeth, often responding with, “I didn’t know I was supposed too!” Brushing can begin with the gums or the first tooth and flossing should begin as soon as there are two adjacent teeth.
There are products on the market that can make brushing your baby’s teeth and gums easier. These include baby tooth pastes, finger brushes, and little bitty tooth brushes. Chances are your baby will like the feel of the finger brush on their sensitive gums while they are teething. The finger brush is made of rubber and will have soft bristles on the end that will feel great in your baby’s mouth.
Starting early will help set precedence for your baby of brushing daily. If it is what they have been taught, and all they know, they will be more likely to do it on their own as they get older. Don’t hesitate to brush your baby’s teeth a couple of times a day.
To brush, either with a finger brush or a baby tooth brush you will use just a small amount of tooth paste and rub it up and down on your baby’s tooth. The same rules apply as when you brush your teeth.
Flossing at an early age will establish a basis for good oral hygiene. It should be started when your baby has two teeth next to each other. Flossing can help prevent cavities which can become rampant. In very small children, this is often referred to as “bottle decay.”
When plaque is present it causes swelling, redness, and bleeding of the gum tissue known as gingivitis. As much as seventy percent of children have gingivitis. Consistent removal of plaque can cure gingivitis; however, chronic gingivitis can cause a breakdown of the structures supporting the teeth and become periodontal disease.
Remember, it is never too early to start teaching your baby about good dental health. Your baby will only have two set of teeth in his life. If you start early teaching him how to take care of his baby teeth, then he will have solid precedent to go by when his adult teeth start coming in and he is taking care of them on his own.
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