Dental Care for Baby
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six and 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!
Are you prepared for the arrival of your baby's first tooth?
A child's first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. We make your child to feel at ease from the moment he/she arrives at our office.
The gums also need some careful attention. After breast- or bottle-feeding, wrap one finger with a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze and gently rub it across your baby's gum tissue. This clears the child’s mouth of any remnants of food and maintains good oral hygiene.
What to do when new teeth arrive
The child's first teeth begin to erupt between the ages of six to 12 months, and continue to erupt until about age three. During this eruption time, child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth. First stage of teething finishes when child has 20 teeth in his/her mouth.
When that first tooth makes an entrance a long-handled toothbrush that you and your baby can hold at the same time, is used, the bristles should be soft and few. At this stage, toothpaste isn't necessary; just dip the brush in water before brushing. If your child doesn't respond well to the toothbrush, don't give up. Switch back to a damp washcloth for a few days and try the toothbrush again.
During the teething process, your child will want to chew on just about anything, and a baby toothbrush with a teether can become a favourite toy during this period.
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, including wisdom teeth).
Oral Hygiene Habits
As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids attack a new tooth quickly, so take care that your child brushes after feeding or eating. Brushing twice a day is recommended for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast and at bedtime.
Don't give your baby any sort of sweetened liquids such as flavoured drinks or soda. Even the sugars present in fruit juice, formula, and milk (breast milk also included) can cause decay, so regular teeth and gum cleaning is vital. Also, make sure your baby never goes to bed with a bottle; sugary liquids in prolonged contact with teeth are a reason for early-childhood decay, also called baby-bottle caries/ nursing bottle decay.
First Dental Visit
Bring your baby for a visit within six months of the first tooth's eruption – usually around his or her first birthday. Since decay can occur the earlier the baby visits us, more likely he/ she is to avoid problems. Remember that each dental visit with a positive attitude goes a long way towards making your child comfortable with regular check-ups.
Setting up a Good Example
All the children are expert in copying and as parent you can take advantage of this talent. You yourself should brush and floss daily making sure that the child is watching, which will make him/ her know the importance of good habits at an early age. Continue for a few days and then give a toothbrush to the child and encourage them to brush with you (You'll find toothbrushes with chunky, short handles that are easy to grip). Until the age of six or seven child cannot clean their own teeth thoroughly so it is recommended that the parent should do that part. Try different things to make brushing fun like flavoured toothpaste, toothbrush with a favourite character. The primary goal is to instil healthy oral habits at an early age.
Preventing Tooth Decay with Regular Check-ups
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and check-ups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular check-ups.