How to take care of milk teeth to protect your baby from tooth decay? Learn the rules of caring for a child's first teeth.
When do the first teeth grow?
The first milk teeth plants are erupting around the 6th month, sometimes earlier usually in the case of children with a higher birth weight. However, don't worry if your toddler is six months old and has no teeth yet. The later the better! Those that appear in the mouth a bit "late" are better mineralized, stronger and therefore less prone to cavities.
Ones and doubles should appear in the mouth within a year and a half. A 2.5-year-old child should have all of them, i.e. 20 milk teeth.
When to start brushing?
Before the first teeth appear, rub your baby's gums with a silicone brush or a piece of wet gauze wound around the finger. Do this every night before you put your baby to bed. Washing the gums is a hygienic procedure and a way to get your baby used to brushing. What to wash with? When ones come out, buy a soft toothbrush.
The ones intended for babies have fine hair and do not irritate the gums. Only wash the first teeth with a brush, then when your toddler learns to spit out with baby toothpaste. Suitable for babies, they fight tooth decay, but have less abrasion properties and do not contain fluoride. Excess of this can be harmful. Before children are able to spit out, brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste can also be dangerous.
Instead, in children's toothpastes, you will find xylitol that has anti-caries properties.
If you can’t find this you can use a toothpaste with a low fluoride content but don't put a lot of it on the brush, just a little bit should be sufficient. When buying a paste, make sure it is free of parabens, preservatives, saccharin and carbon dioxide.
The pastes for the little ones have a delicate, less irritating taste than mint. To some, aloe extract is added to improve the taste.
How often to brush?
In order for the protection against decay to be effective, you must brush the teeth at least twice a day. If you do it less often, limescale will additionally build up on your baby's teeth. Each washing should last about 2 minutes, during which you should remove the plaque by making circular and sweeping movements with the brush.
Buying an electric toothbrush may be a good solution. The rotational movements of the head make it very effective in removing sediment. Dental floss is a good complement in the fight against caries. Show the little one how to use it.
How to avoid bottle caries?
Giving milk at night can contribute to bottle caries, especially if your toddler is bottle-fed. Saliva protects the teeth and balances the pH in the mouth. When the baby is asleep, its production is reduced and therefore the effect is weaker. If you want to reduce the risk of bottle caries, skip overnight feedings.
Caries problems are greater in children who snack between meals, receive sweet drinks and drink from a bottle through a teat for too long. Rather give your toddler water, preferably through a straw.
Is it tooth decay?
Its first symptom may be a light, dull spot on the tooth. If you notice a black dot, make an appointment to see a dentist. Caries progresses quickly, so you should react immediately. In addition, it is transferred to permanent teeth.
First visit to the dentist
It is worth going to the dentist for the first time, at about a year. The dentist will check the teething process and whether the toddler is not threatened by caries. Make regular appointments. Ideally every six months, or when you notice spots on the teeth.
Prepare your baby for an appointment with the dentist. Don't scare him and say you're afraid yourself. Don't say that treating your teeth hurts. Explain what you are going for, tell about how he will be tested. And all the best!