Yes, it’s true, your baby’s teeth are not permanent but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t treat them as permanent.
In fact, you should care for your child’s smile as soon as they start developing those sweet little smiles! Proper care and dental practices help alleviate any problems with ‘baby teeth’ and or permanent teeth down the road. It is also crucial in preventing any decay or infection of the teeth.
1. Comfort Is Baby’s Friend – It is important to get your child used to the act of brushing and the routine to follow. You can start ‘brushing’ your babies’ teeth as soon as you can see them poking through the gumline. Use a clean washlcloth, slightly damp, a gauze pad or a throwaway finger toothbrush to simply clean the first few teeth and the front part of your child’s tongue. This is especially important after feeding, meals and at bedtime.
2. Toothbrush Trials – It may be a tough time getting your child to brush their teeth themselves. If this is the case, getting a ‘special’ toothbrush just for them is usually very helpful. Try a toothbrush with a familiar face on it, a cartoon character or a Princess toothbrush. This usually brings a sense of independence and comfort for them.
3. The Right Brush – Picking out the best brush for your child’s mouth as he or she transitions out of a ‘baby smile’ into their adult teeth is crucial. It is recommended to always ask your dentist what brush is best for your mouth. Your dentist can usually recommend more efficient and practical ways to brush, too!
4. Say Cheese! – We all know that kids love dairy products such as; cheese, yogurt, milk and ice cream. These items sure are yummy but we must remember that even yummy stuff can bring the potential for cavities later on. When you leave dairy products on your teeth, it turns into sugars, which translates into the increased potential for more cavities. So go ahead and eat that yogurt, just make sure you have a sparkly clean smile afterwards!
5. Floss is Boss – As a kid, we often forget about flossing. It can often slip our minds to even do the simplest of activities like flossing or brushing. It’s important to remember that when we do these things on a routine basis, it helps us develop a boost to our dental health and our overall health, as well! Carrying teeth-flossers is an easy way to remove any unwanted debris after a quick snack or lunch at school.
6. Sippy, Sippy – As our children transition, sippy cups are often used to help them transition from the traditional bottle to a standard glass. However, it is important to remember to refrain from your child drinking out of the sippy cup constantly. It is good to rotate from a sippy cup, to a glass, every other day.
7. Pacifier Control – There’s many good ways to use a pacifier but much like a sippy cup, it should be used as a transitional tool. Over time, in can severely affect how the teeth and jawbone line up. After age 3, a pacifier is not recommended.
8. Messy Medicine – Nowadays our medicine’s can be very sugary and sweet. Often consisting of many artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. While it is not detrimental that we take these medicines, it’s important that we take care of our smiles afterwards. The sugar is often left to sit on our teeth overnight when taken at bedtime.
9. Diet is Everything – In the busy life of school, extra curricular activities and other events, it can often seem hard to eat clean while living the fast paced cycle of life. This is simply not true. It’s been shown that through a healthy diet of fruits such as apples, grapes, citrus and greens; your teeth will substantially improve their health.
10. Friend not Foe – Remind your children that you’re in the fight against the ‘sugar bugs’ together and you’re on their side! Sometimes our kids can look at these developing habits as a ‘chore’. Make it as fun as possible for your children, creating games or whatever helps capture your child’s imagination!