As far as milestones go, that first tiny tooth is a big one. Baby teeth herald the arrival of a new phase of development with your child. To ensure your child gets their dental health off to a positive and healthy start, follow these tips:
- It's not too soon to begin brushing your child's teeth. As soon as a few teeth have emerged, use a small, very soft, brush to gently cleanse your baby's teeth. You want your child to view dental hygiene practices in a positive light, so be careful if your child is still teething and suffering from sore, irritated gums. Show your child the importance of brushing as soon as you can imprint good dental habits.
- Teething issues can make children miserable, and that misery can affect your own ability to get a good night's sleep. It can be challenging sometimes to figure out what is causing your child pain, though. Signs of teething troubles include crying, chewing vigorously on teething rings and toys, and more. Frozen teething rings and cloths to chew on can help.
- When they are ready, it's time to introduce them to their very own toothbrush. Instruct them on using the brush and make brushing part of nightly and morning routines, just like a bath and a bedtime story.
- As your child's teeth continue to emerge, become aware of the way thumb-sucking can affect things. This very natural and common habit is only problematic if it continues well after teeth have emerged. Unfortunately, long-term thumb-sucking can seriously affect a child's bite, and that can lead to the need for braces later on. You can help your child stop this practice if you use care and patience. Talk to your child's dentist for some tips on coping with thumb-sucking before the damage is done.
- You might not realize it, but your baby's teeth can get cavities, too. To keep cavities away, don't give your child milk or juice before bed, and speak to your dentist at the first sign of a cavity.
- As your child begins losing their baby teeth and permanent teeth emerge, your child might show more signs of discomfort, although not as many as with their first teeth. Watch out for problems with permanent teeth trying to emerge before the baby tooth has fallen out. In most cases, baby teeth begin to fall out at about age 4.
Speak to a local dental office, such as Apollo Dental Center to find out more.