While baby teeth are only temporary and will later be replaced by permanent teeth, caring for them is no less important. Healthy baby teeth set your child up for optimum dental health, as unhealthy ones can cause permanent teeth to come in crooked, as well as hinder nutrition and speech development. Dentistry for Children in Jonesboro shares some helpful tips for caring for your baby's teeth:
1. Start before the first tooth emerges. Don’t wait until your baby's first tooth comes in to start caring for his/her teeth. You should start caring for your child's gums immediately. After each feeding and before bedtime, wipe your baby's gums with a soft, dampened washcloth or piece of gauze. This will help remove bacteria and plaque that can cling to the gums and damage baby teeth as they emerge.
2. Brush twice a day. Baby teeth typically start coming in between four and seven months of age. Start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in. Use a soft baby toothbrush with no more than three rows of bristles and apply a pea-size amount of baby toothpaste. Change to a new toothbrush every three months or when the bristles become rough and frayed.
3. Be mindful of sugar. Sugar a leading cause of tooth decay. It's not just about the quantity of sugar that's consumed, but also when it’s consumed and how long teeth will be in contact with the sugar. Consuming lollipops or sugary drinks and fruit juices in a feeder cup or bottle are especially harmful, as the teeth are in contact with the sugar for a long time. Limit your child's consumption of sugary foods and drinks, and only offer them at mealtimes. When offering fruit juice, dilute one part juice to 10 parts water.
4. Visit a pediatric dentist. Your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth emerges or around his/her first birthday— whichever comes first. A pediatric dentistry like Dentistry for Children Jonesboro will help your child fight cavities and tooth decay and maintain optimal oral health. A pediatric dentist can also answer any questions you may have about brushing and flossing, thumb sucking, and more.
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