Oral Hygiene Tips
Are baby teeth important?
The answer is a resounding YES. Baby teeth serve several important functions that aid in your child’s development. They help in the development of speech and they hold space for the future adult teeth. Finally, a smile can help to build a child's self confidence and social skills.
Dental cavities are the most common childhood disease and are preventable. While most of us are enjoying fewer cavities, children ages 2-5 are actually suffering an increase.
Early childhood decay is usually caused when babies are put to sleep with a bottle filled with milk, formula, juice, or other drinks that contain sugar, even natural sugars. It can also happen when babies are nursed to sleep because breast milk contains natural sugars.
Helping a child learn to brush their teeth is an important task that many parents find frustrating.
We have 4 tips to help transition your child into a good brusher.
1. Start Early!
Health habits that start from birth last a lifetime. Even before teeth are erupted, baby’s gums and cheeks should be wiped with a moistened washcloth or convenient dental wipe such as Tooth Tissues TM after every feeding to remove plaque and excess milk or formula. Getting a child used to oral stimulation often helps make introducing a toothbrush easier later on.
2. Two brushes are better than one!
Let ‘little helpers’ help… get a second toothbrush.
Many young children enjoy brushing their own teeth first. Most children use this as an opportunity to chew on the toothbrush causing the bristles to splay. Parents should then use the second toothbrush to do a thorough brushing. We encourage parents to help kids brush until they are about 6-8 years old because not all kids have the manual dexterity to do a good job by themselves.
3. When all else fails! Distract!
Distract your child with a favorite song or story.
4. 31 Flavors anyone?
Many children are fussy eaters; this extends to toothpaste flavors. Try different flavors and, if all else fails, water is better than nothing.
As dentists, we want to help your child have a healthy, beautiful smile.
Drs. Grace Lo and Jonathan Korn are parents, practicing dentists and the creators of Tooth Tissues.