That feeling of love and joy you get when your little one smiles at you instantly brighten up your day. The cute little milk teeth that shine as bright as twinkling stars are what make their smile even more adorable. These milk teeth, apart from making them cute; also helps them chew food and pronounce proper words.
One common myth is that you can neglect your child’s milk teeth as they are going to eventually fall off. This is absolutely false! If your child’s milk teeth get damaged it can affect the health of permanent teeth growing directly beneath the milky ones. Thus, it is important to take care of your child’s teeth to ensure that your child doesn’t develop tooth decay.
- Infant care
- Use a small amount of gauze or a washcloth to gently wipe your child’s gums before his/her teeth begin to come in.
- Give your child lots of water to drink; avoid sugary drinks/juices.
- Ensure that your child eats healthy food.
- Don’t use fluoride toothpaste till your child learns to gargle.
- Find a pediatric dentist and schedule your child’s appointment as soon as his/her 1st tooth emerges in the oral cavity.
- Switch from bottles to cups by your child’s 1st birthday, unless it is medically indicated.
- When they start teething, offer them cold tethers that will help soothe the pain.
- Toddler care
- Toddlers usually begin to brush their own teeth around 2 yrs of age but they still need assistance till age 5.
- Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste while brushing toddler’s teeth.
- Don’t allow your child to swallow toothpaste.
- Brush the inside surface of your child’s teeth first, angling the bristles towards the gumline.
- Next, clean the outside surfaces of your child’s teeth, brushing gently the entire time.
- Finally, brush the chewing surface of the teeth.
- Start a brushing routine well before bedtime so that your child won’t be tired to brush. Make sure you don’t give any sugary/sticky foods after brushing.
- School-age child care
- Continue to encourage your child to brush and floss regularly.
- Routine check-ups remain important as your child gets older.
- If your child participates in sports, make sure he/she wears a proper fitted mouth guard to protect teeth.
- Promote healthy eating by preparing healthy snacks.
About the Author:
Dr. Kisha Mehta (MDS Pedodontics & Preventive Dentistry)
Founder and Partner at KIDS DENTAL STUDIO (An exclusive Pediatric Dental Clinic of Ahmedabad)
Dr. Kisha is a Pediatric Dentist who is highly personable and caring with experience of more than 7 years in patient care. She is highly skilled with procedures and a specialist in behaviour management.
Prior to launching her exclusive dental studio, she worked as a dental consultant with many of the reputed clinics in Bombay. She believes in giving back to the society and is involved in organizing free check-up camps for the underprivileged.
Apart from these, she is also affiliated with many pre-schools and schools for spreading oral hygiene awareness.