Raising a child is a rewarding experience, and as a parent you want to provide your child with the best possible care during their formative years. Before you know it, you’ll be observing your child’s baby teeth starting to come in – and it’s important that these teeth are cared for from the moment they erupt. In this blog post, we will be sharing some tips for parents so that your child can get the best possible start in life and enjoy optimal dental health throughout childhood
Why are baby Teeth Important?
Whilst it is true that baby teeth will eventually be taken care of by the tooth fairy, they still play an important role within your child’s dental development. This is because the baby teeth help your child to chew, speak, and smile as well as serve as ‘placeholders’ for the permanent teeth which will eventually come through. Furthermore, baby tooth provides guidance for the corresponding adult tooth to come through straight. Without proper care, they may fall out prematurely due to tooth decay or other issues, and an orthodontist would need to evaluate the impact (if any) this may have on their dental development.
When do baby teeth generally fall out?
Each child has 20 baby teeth with the first usually comes out around the age of months and the molars come out around 2 years of age. Generally the first baby tooth will be shed at around 6 years of age, and by around 12 years of age all baby teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth.
Keep in mind that this is just a rough general guide, and it will vary from child to child. With regular visits to the dentist, the stage of teeth development will be thoroughly assessed to ensure baby teeth and adult teeth are replaced in the right order, with proper eruption guidance, minimising impaction of adult teeth and avoid they go through the wrong way.
Tips for Cleaning Baby Teeth
As a baby: Cleaning of the baby teeth should begin as soon as they have erupted. Parents should use a soft, clean damp cloth to clean their baby’s teeth after meals and breastfeeding. Breast milk and formula both contain lactose which can contribute to the development of tooth decay, so it is important this is cleaned away after each feed. Before bed, you can use a baby-appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the teeth thoroughly.
Nursing Caries: Avoid going to sleep with a bottle of milk or prolonged breast feeding beyond 9 months of age. “Nursing Caries” will rot teeth away at rapid rate. It’s “Habitual Feeding” with little nutritional value but destroys teeth fast due to “prolonged” contact of milk with teeth. The child holds milk for a long time without swallowing, thus creating high acidic environment dissolving teeth away. Habitual feeding means there is very little saliva secretion to help neutralising the acid produced by milk, thus doubling up the damaging effects on teeth.
At 2-8 years of age: By now the two year old molars will have come through, and your child’s teeth will need cleaning twice a day using a soft or medium bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Supervised electric tooth brush is beneficial. Disclosing dyes help to label up hidden germs, thus improves cleaning. Parental supervision is key to long term success. Regular parental home care using fluoride mouth wash and tooth mousse would help to strengthen up teeth substantially..
8-10 years of age: By this stage your child is likely read to start brushing their teeth by themselves, however if they have special needs you may wish to offer support. If you require professional advice, please don’t hesitate to mention this to your child’s dentist during their next consultation.
Pay Attention to the Following
Diet – eating a healthy, balanced diet will go a long way in maintain healthy teeth. Try to avoid indiscriminate snacking, instead aim to stick to 3 daily meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can also provide some healthy snacks twice daily for your child. This will reduce the amount of acid/sugars coating your child’s baby teeth, which can potentially lead to tooth decay.
Scheduled Visits to Specialist Kids Dentist Liverpool and Summer Hill
The sooner your child becomes used to visiting the dentist, the better their oral health outcomes will be. Upon reaching 12 months of age, dentist visits should be scheduled every 6 months. This will allow us to keep a close eye on your child’s dental development and identify any issues early on. As a result your child’s teeth and jaws will develop optimally and harmoniously.
Age Appropriate Toothpaste
There are a range of toothpastes available on the market, each with varying fluoride strengths to suit different age groups. You should start with low fluoride baby toothpaste, and you can move on to a higher fluoride toothpaste once your child learns to spit the toothpaste out after brushing. This will offer the best protection against cavities.
Schedule an Appointment at Specialist Kids Dentist Today!
Baby teeth are an important part of your child’s development, and by taking care of them you will be protecting their future dental health. Specialist Kids Dentist are leading paediatric dentists in Summer Hill and Liverpool, contact us today on 02 9600 6848 to schedule a check-up for your child. We are here to support you, and we look forward to seeing you and your child soon.