Taking Good Care Of Your Baby’s Milk teeth

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It’s easy to underestimate the importance of taking care of your baby’s teeth. After all, they’re not permanent, right? But doing the minimum, or nothing, until “real” adult teeth develop is part of the reason most children have tooth decay. The good news? It’s preventable!

Healthy baby teeth, healthier adult teeth

  • Your child’s baby teeth are important for several reasons, so make sure you take care of those first teeth at an early age.
  • Baby teeth hold space for the adult teeth that will follow. A decaying or missing tooth provides inadequate space, which can only be enlarged to the proper size with orthodontic treatment.
  • Infected baby teeth can lead to stained, pitted or weaker adult teeth.
  • Baby teeth play a critical role in speech development. They are also essential for proper chewing, which promotes healthy nutrition.

Birth to 6 months

  • Use a soft cloth or gauze to clean baby’s gums starting the first few days after birth.
  • Ask your child’s pediatrician about the need for fluoride supplements.
  • Learn the benefits of regulating bottle-feeding and breastfeeding habits.

6 months to 1 year

  • The first tooth usually appears during this time frame, so it’s a good time to schedule an exam with a pediatric dentist.
  • Brush after each feeding and before bed with small, soft toothbrush.
  • Minimize the potential for dental injuries as your child begins to walk.

1 year to 2 years

  • Schedule exams and cleanings every six months, or as recommended by your child’s pediatric dentist.
  • When your child has mastered rinsing his or her own mouth, and most baby teeth have come in, ask your child’s dentist about the best time to begin using toothpaste.

Round out good oral health

We know you want to provide the best oral health for your child(ren). Dentists have a wealth of information, so be sure to ask questions and voice any concerns.

Fluoride makes tooth enamel more resistant to decay. Many communities add fluoride to the water supply. If yours doesn’t, or your child only consumes bottled water, the dentist may recommend a fluoride supplement.

Baby bottle tooth decay happens if a baby naps or goes to bed with a bottle filled with milk, juice or other sugary drink. When the sugars in these drinks coat teeth for a prolonged period of time, the enamel can break down, leading to decay. The solution? Only fill bottles with water whenever your baby is sleeping.

Teething is a normal part of childhood and most parents don’t escape without some anxiety. The simple pressure from mom or dad’s finger often does the trick to ease pain, as do frozen washcloths.

Good infant oral health can save you money

Research shows that kids who have their first dental visit before age one have 40 percent lower dental costs by age five than kids who don’t. But, it’s not only about saving money. Kids with healthy teeth have higher self-esteem and do better in school. So make caring for those baby teeth a priority—everyone will benefit from it!

When it comes to dental care, everyone should see a dentist twice a year— and babies are no different than adults.

Author: Bibian Okoye

A Retired Chief Nursing Officer, PGDip IHM

12 thoughts on “Taking Good Care Of Your Baby’s Milk teeth”

  1. Hey Bibian, great article. Being a dad of a three-year-old myself I know how important those milk teeth are, and more than often I am surprised to see how other kids of the same age as my son is already having such bad teeth.

    Many parents simply don’t care. And that’s really bad.

    I myself do not have any tooth decay to this very day, and I hope I will be able to guide my son so that he will have healthy teeth as well. Thanks for reminding us parents of the importants of good milk teeth health!

    chris

    1. Thanks Chris for your comment

      But you still have lots of work to do in helping those kids avoid tooth decay like

      Advising them on brushing twice a day

      Avoiding very sugary substances and food that are high in acid such as citrus fruit which normally weakens the enamel and taking them to see the dentist regularly

      So you still need to work closely with them for them to have the same record as you

       

  2. Hi Bibian,

    My kids are already adults, so I don’t need to be behind them to care about their teeth anymore. But my sister just gave birth a month ago. I will share this article with her so she can read it and apply your suggestion right away. I do have a question, though. I’ve read somewhere that fluoride has side effects and that it is a poison. Maybe there is a certain quantity of fluoride not exceed at a young age?

    What do you think?

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    1. You see dear, flouride protects the teeth from decay by demineralization and remineralization. The only time I feel flouride can be harmful is when there is too much intake, because it causes dental flourosis and some time skeletal flourosis.. Some recent researches says it causes cardiovascular problem and so on. So that is why as a mother, you need to always monitor the type of toothpaste that is been used in your home  and  ensure that it is recommended by the dental association.

  3. Great article My daughter is 22 years old now and boy am I glad I was able to take some parenting classes on things like oral hygiene. It can be easy to forget things like this. When you become a parent life gets hectic. a perfect reminder of how important the little things are

  4. My twins are 10 months old and my husband and I both brush their teeth with them daily. I like to brush their teeth with them while i am brushing my teeth. You laid some good facts out though. I didn’t know how important their baby teeth were in speech development. I didn’t know it was important to brush after each feeding. We usually brush once in the morning and once at night. I didn’t know that babies were supposed to see the dentist before 1 year of age. Thank you so much for teaching us how to take care of our girls’ teeth.

    1. Hello Evette, Amazing to know you have 10 months old twins! Must be both sweet and sour experience until they are old enough :). Well done Evette for teaching them to brush twice a day, but now our article has revealed that you have to do more with them. I am happy you found the write-up helpful. Thanks for visiting our site and keep an eye for more interesting articles that will benefit your parenting strategies. Do have a lovely day!

  5. Okay this is something I had never thought of. I was always told the importance of brushing your teeth, but I wasn’t quite aware how child teeth could affect adult teeth. A quick question that came up right when I started reading is this. Don’t kids lose their teeth eventually anyways? I mean usually most of the teeth is replaced when they lose it and they get a new one. Should this not mean that kid teeth doesn’t matter as much?

    1. Hi Parmi thanks for your comment…

      You’re very funny. Those little teeth that you think do not matter  are the ones that create the framework for the Adult teeth to grow. They also help them learn how to chew and also talk. so it is very important that we take proper care of them

  6. Hi Bibian. Thanks for sharing this great info. Although I don’t have a baby right now but my wife is pregnant. Your article has already made me aware of the importance of baby teeth. So I’ll be ready to take care of his teeth as you have mentioned. Will clean it with soft brush and will visit at after regular intervals. I’ll ask my wife to clean baby’s mouth every time she has fed him.

    1. Congrats dear..

      That will be very nice. You need to start early to take care of this teeth in other to avoid tooth decay in the future. Like I said always take them to the dentist regularly, for it will really help

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