Most parents wonder when is the right time to get started with the oral care of a child. Well, It can start as early as around 12 months or when the first tooth appears. Also, there is a common misconception about, baby teeth being less important than permanent teeth. Remember, baby teeth are a foundation as they create place-holders in a baby’s mouth in the early years of development. Hence, do not avoid proper oral care for baby teeth, even if the baby does not have full teeth just rub a soft cloth around the baby’s gums it will prevent bacteria and will also help emerging teeth. By the age of 2, a child may have many teeth and you can begin with proper brushing, this is the time to make oral hygiene fun and interesting. Here is how you can begin with Oral Care of a Child:
Oral Hygiene for Babies
- When the baby does not have teeth or just one tooth, a toothbrush and toothpaste is not required.
- After every feed, take a clean soft cotton cloth, damp wash it and rub it around the gums gently using your index finger.
- If you cannot repeat this after every feed just do it twice a day.
- You can either switch from a soft cloth to a brush with soft bristles or use a finger silicon brush for baby teeth for 1.5 years.
Oral Care for Infants above 2 years
- Children love fascinating characters, let them choose his/her own brush in their favorite color.
- The brush should have soft bristles.
- Toothpaste can also be of their choice; you may give few selected options but make sure they are natural and organic as children may swallow it.
- Children love fruity flavors so you can give them strawberry-flavored or other fruity flavored toothpaste to make brushing time more fun.
- Use a timer while brushing the teeth, let them brush for 2 minutes or you can play their favorite rhyme while brushing the teeth.
- Do not lose your calm, if the child hesitates in brushing for few days it’s normal because when we are stressed kids will lose interest in brushing.
- Brushing the teeth twice a day is necessary and this is the right age to build healthy habits in children.
- Reward the child with healthy chocolaty milk for brushing teeth twice a day.
Remember, like everything a child’s teeth and smile is constantly developing, right from the first cute tooth to the permanent teeth there will be a lot of changes, and let’s be prepared for it. Choose the right brush, toothpaste and make brushing time fun, keep visiting pediatric dentist regularly for routine dental check-ups.