DENTAL CARE FOR YOUR TODDLER

Dental careGood dental care is very important for your kid right from those first teeth and continues through adulthood. The common problem that your child will face is tooth decay caused due to exposure to sugary liquids for long periods. Among these are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened liquids. When a baby is put to bed with a bottle, the liquid drips into the mouth continuously. It collects around the teeth as long as the bottle is in the mouth. The decay is caused because of this since your baby goes to sleep with the milk in her mouth and is like sending the baby to bed with a mouthful of candy, resulting in tooth decay. Gums can become inflamed and swollen.

Following are guidelines, which you should follow while taking dental care for your toddler.

Birth to 6 months

  • Clean mouth every time after feedings and at bedtime.
  • Regulate feeding habits.

6 to 12 Months

  • Begin to brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with small, soft-bristled brush using a NON-fluoridated infants tooth and gum cleaner.

12 to 24 Months

  • Continue using NON-fluoridated infants toothpaste.
  • Most Primary teeth have erupted

24 Months Plus

  • Start to use fluoridated toothpaste ONLY when child has learned to spit it out and is able to effectively rinse afterwards.

Cleaning the teeth

Brush gently, moving the brush in small circles where possible Finish each circle before moving on to adjacent teeth. Follow a sequence such as the one described below:

  • Outside top, circular motion.
  • Outside bottom, circular motion.
  • Inside top, circular motion.
  • Inside bottom, circular motion.
  • Chewing surfaces, back and forth motion.

Don't forget the surfaces between any missing teeth. They must be brushed too. Make sure that the bristles of the brush reach those areas. Flossing: Brushing does not reach areas between teeth that are tightly contacting each other. These areas need proper cleaning as much the other surfaces.

Visit to the dentist

It is best to take your child to the dentist between six and twelve months of age. The earlier you begin, the better it is for you to take care of your child's dental care. It also gives better chance to your dentist to prevent problems. In addition to examining your child for decay and other problems, the dentist will teach you how to properly clean your child's teeth daily, evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb sucking, and identify your child's fluoride needs. Your child's visit to the dentist should normally be after every six months but this largely depends on his eating habits, how clean his or her teeth are kept etc.


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