Keep your babys mouth clean by gently brushing the gums and teeth with with an infant tooth brush that has soft bristles or a clean wash cloth. Once your baby has teeth, you can switch to a child sized toothbrush that has soft bristles for daily cleaning.
Brush your child’s teeth 2 times a day. The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Start by using a smear or rice size amount of tooth past. Once your child can spit and not swallow the tooth past (about 2 to 3 years old) you should continue brushing using a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride. Swallowing too much toothpaste with fluoride can cause white and brown spots on your child’s developing teeth. Most children are not able to bursh their teeth by themselves until they are 6 to 8 years old.
1. Never put your child to bed with a bottle or food.
2. Only give your child a bottle during meals.
3. Teach your child to drink from a cup as soon as possible.
4. If your child must have a bottle or sippy cup fill it with water only.
Tooth decay first appears as white spots on the teeth by the gum line of the teeth. These spots are hard to see at first. Left untreated the white spot may develop a break in the enamel. A child with tooth decay needs to be examined and treated early to stop the decay from spreading and to prevent further damage.
Tooth decay develops when the teeth are exposed to any liquids or foods other than water for long periods. The liquid or food collects around the teeth, and the natural or added sugars are changed to acid by bacteria in the mouth. This acid then dissolves the outer part of the teeth causing them to decay.
This commonly happens when children are put to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice, soft drinks, sugar water, or sugared drinks.
Knowing how to handle your child’s dental emergency can mean the difference between saving or losing a tooth. We recommend the following tips on what to do for your child in case of:
Knocked-Out Tooth: If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. Gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a cup of cool milk. Go to your dentist with the knocked-out tooth immediately (within 20 minutes if possible). Use the ADA-accepted tooth preservation kit to keep knocked out teeth if available.
Toothache: Rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it and use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped between the teeth. Do no place aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues and see your dentist as soon as possible.
Taking good care of your child’s teeth must start even before the first tooth appears. You can prevent tooth decay in your child by following good dental habits.
Tooth decay can develop as soon as the first tooth erupts. Brushing every day may not be enough to prevent it. If tooth decay is not prevented it can be costly to treat. If left untreated, it can destroy the teeth. This can cause infection, early loss of baby teeth, crooked adult teeth, and decay in adult teeth.