14 Jan Oral Hygiene for Kids
It’s important to teach your children good oral hygiene routines while they’re young, so that they become second nature. This can begin even before their teeth haven’t emerged from the gums yet. Even though you can’t see them, babies are born with their teeth. They just won’t break through the gums until around six months of age.
Even before babies’ teeth emerge, you can begin to practice good dental hygiene by wiping your baby’s gums after each feeding, using a soft washcloth. This helps to remove bacteria, and also begins to introduce the concept of mouth cleaning to your child.
Once the teeth emerge, you can begin to brush your child’s teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Dentists recommend you take away a baby’s bottle after they are done drinking to prevent tooth decay – this means you should not allow your baby to go to sleep with a bottle filled with formula, milk, or any other substance other than water. Your baby should have their first visit to the dentist by one year old.
Sometime around two to three years old, you can begin using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to begin to teach your child good self-brushing habits. Your child will need help brushing effectively for several years, until they are able to do an effective job on their own. It’s also important to limit their sugar intake during these formative years, to help limit the buildup of plaque.
By starting from a very young age, you can teach your child good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime and prevent costly and potentially painful dental procedures.