Because baby teeth fall out after a few years, parents sometimes aren’t aware of the importance of keeping them healthy. It is important to take care of baby teeth to ensure healthy gums and future permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is affected by trauma, decay or an abscess it can cause damage to the permanent tooth below it. It is vital that baby teeth are cared for as well as adult teeth. It’s worth noting that the protective outer layer (enamel) is much thinner on baby teeth so decay can penetrate towards the nerve much more quickly.
Here are some oral hygiene tips to help you take care for your baby’s teeth:
Before the baby teeth erupt in to the mouth you can use a soft cloth to wipe the gums clean, this can also be soothing for a child that is teething.
When the teeth erupt into the mouth it is important to keep them plaque free by brushing twice a day. This can be quite difficult so it’s worth coming up with a game or a compromise to make sure you are doing a good job. Leaving a tooth brush in the bath is a good way to help children get used to the routine. Diet control is very important at this stage, keeping sugars to a minimum.
- When the baby teeth are loose and being lost it is important to keep the surrounding gum clean. It can be quite tender at this time so encourage your child to gently but thoroughly brush around the baby tooth, the gum and the new adult teeth.
When brushing your toddlers teeth compromise by allowing them to brush first and then letting you do a second brush. For those of you good at multi-tasking – you could do a quiz eg. Ask your child to listen to 5 true phrases and 1 false phrase as you brush and get them to pick the incorrect statement. The transfer of concentration should help them be more cooperative.