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How To Maintain Healthy Baby Teeth

August 9, 2010

Filed under: Children,National Children's Dental Health Month — admin @ 9:40 am

Baby’s permanent teeth, the first of which won’t appear until the child is about 6 years old, already are being formed within a few months after birth.

Baby teeth are important because they allow an infant to eat a good diet, allow for proper jaw growth, give the face its form and appearance, assist in the formation of proper speech, and most important, act as “space savers” for adult teeth.

Running a damp washcloth over your baby’s gums following feedings can prevent buildup of damaging bacteria.

Once your child has a few teeth showing, you can brush them with a soft child’s toothbrush or rub them with gauze at the end of the day.

The best type of toothbrush to use at first, is a long handled brush with a small head. This design makes it easy to reach all areas of your baby’s mouth.

Your baby’s toothbrush should have rounded, soft filaments. You should replace it every 10-12 weeks, or sooner if the filaments become splayed.

It isn’t absolutely essential to use toothpaste to clean your baby’s teeth – the brushing action itself is actually the most important part of keeping them clean. If you prefer to use toothpaste, then you should choose one that is designed specifically for infants, because they contain very little – if any – fluoride. In fact, the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines suggest that babies under the age of 2 receive NO fluoride at all.

Putting your baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth may be convenient in the short term — but it can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they may eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth.

If your baby is “stubborn” and fusses about having their teeth brushed, gently continue trying every few days.  Children who are nearly 2 have a passion to copy everything they see done around them. If a 2-year-old girl sees her parents brush their teeth, she one day grabs one of their brushes and insists on trying it herself. This is a good time to buy her a brush and let her go to it. Naturally, she won’t be very efficient at first, but you can help her tactfully.

Please call our office at 719.599.0700 for your child’s dental appointment.

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