Oral Health 101 - Babies & Toddlers
Parental involvement in their child’s oral care is of utmost importance as it enforces the correct brushing technique during the development of motor skills. Additionally, it also sets a precedent for good oral health habits at a young age.
Here are a few pointers for all the new mammas out there on how to go about your baby’s dental hygiene -
- A child's first dental visit should be at the age of 1 in order to ascertain normal growth and development.
- For infants, prior to tooth eruption, wipe and clean the gums twice a day with a soft, clean cloth or moist cotton. This needs to be done once in the morning after the first feed and once right before bed after the last feed to wipe away any bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.
- As soon as the first tooth erupts, use a small soft bristle toothbrush with water to clean your baby’s teeth.
- Use a smear of toothpaste after 6 months of age until the baby is about 2 years old, after which you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush their teeth.
- Dental sealants are highly recommended at a young age. Applying sealants to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth prevent a large number of cavities in children.
- Consult your dentist for a fluoride varnish application on your child’s teeth. It is highly effective in reducing the risk of cavities in baby teeth. Children who brush daily with fluoride toothpaste will have fewer cavities.
- Parents should monitor their child’s brushing technique until the age of 8 with regular professional dental visits once a year.