Baby teeth are a critical part of your child's oral health development and the health of their entire body. Here, our Carbonear dentists explain more on the reasons why it's essential to brush your child's baby teeth.
While you don't have to start brushing your infant's teeth with a toothbrush or toothpaste until their first teeth start to emerge, it's still important to clean your baby’s gums each day.
Baby teeth usually start to erupt when children are between six and nine months of age. These teeth are very important, as they help your child eat and speak, and eventually guide the adult teeth into the proper spaces.
Before Your Baby's First Tooth
Proper oral health care for your child should start before their first tooth starts emerging. Every day, you should be running a clean, damp washcloth over your baby's gums to clean away any harmful bacteria.
Cleaning your baby’s gums every day from the beginning will help make sure, by the time their first tooth comes in, you and your young one will both already be in the habit of regular mouth cleanings. Also, since every baby teethes a little differently, it could sometimes be tricky for parents to know when their baby’s first tooth is starting to come in.
When the First Tooth Erupts
As soon as the first tooth appears, you should start brushing with an infant toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste.
Baby teeth must be cleaned on a regular basis because, like adults, infants can get cavities too. Once your child has a tooth, plaque can begin building up on the tooth's surface and cause decay.
Children should brush at least twice a day – once in the morning and once before bed. Flossing can begin once your child has two teeth side-by-side.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Child's Baby Teeth
Like everyone else, babies can get tooth decay if proper oral health habits aren't implemented. By practicing these oral health tips, you can help make sure your child's baby teeth stay healthy:
- Start teaching your child good dental care habits early. When you teach them how to take care of teeth you are helping them start positive habits that will last their whole lives.
- Do your best to not put your baby to sleep with a bottle. It may be convenient now but this could harm their teeth. When sugars from juice or milk sit on a baby's teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, resulting in a condition referred to as bottle mouth.
- Bring your baby to a dentist that offers children's services by the time they turn one year old, or when their first teeth start to erupt. This will help maintain the baby teeth until it's time for them to fall out and be replaced with adult teeth.