Baby teeth tips
Top 5 things to think about when it comes to your baby's teeth:
1. Start from birth
Looking after your baby’s teeth starts from birth. Ensure that they are given a range of both sweet and savoury foods so that they are given a selection of tastes from an early age.
2. Cleaning first teeth
Baby teeth begin to erupt at around 6-12 months. As soon as they appear a cotton bud with water can be used to clean these teeth at the front of the mouth. This introduces the baby to the concept of cleaning teeth and is best done with the baby sitting on the mum or dad’s lap. Once the baby is able to wriggle then you may need help from another person - but making teeth cleaning into a fun game can certainly help the process.
3. Use children's toothpaste
When very young it is best to use a children’s toothpaste in a very small quantity initially until they get to like the taste. A pea sized amount should be used for children under seven and they should always be supervised when brushing to minimize the chances of swallowing.
4. First trip to the dentist
Two to three years is the best time to take your child to the dentist for the first time as most baby teeth have erupted by that age. The first trip to the dentist can be a tricky time so I recommend playing the ‘dentist looking in the mouth’ game beforehand to help them get used to people looking in their mouth. Initially the child may feel better being on the parent’s lap and over a couple of visits they will graduate to sitting on the chair. Highlight the fun element of the moving chair as it is moved into a working position!
All children are different, and some won't be in the least fazed by the surgery, where others won't be ready until they are four or five. Parents shouldn’t worry too much about this - providing they are cleaning teeth at home with a fluoride toothpaste and have a low sugar diet then they should have healthy teeth.
5. The right toothpaste
Oral hygiene is so important at this young age so you should start with a baby toothbrush and progress to a child's size as they get older. The toothpaste you use must contain Fluoride as the daily application of fluoride in the paste helps to strengthen the enamel surface and resist the acid attacks from food. Make sure your child has a healthy diet; avoid fizzy drinks and food with high sugar levels. If you do give them sweets as a treat, it’s best for their teeth to have them after a meal.