Maintaining oral health and dental hygiene is an essential habit to instil in children at an early age. As the little ones start growing up, their baby teeth emerge to hold the space for adult teeth. This development also plays a vital role in guiding the baby to talk, chew and smile. But when do you start brushing baby teeth? You must have several of such questions about your little one’s oral care. So, let’s understand how you can begin with dental care for your baby’s teeth based on age.
Caring for Baby’s Teeth between the Age of 0-2 years
It is recommended to start taking care of your tiny one’s oral health as soon as your baby’s first tooth arrives. So, here’s how you can do it:
- To prevent any tooth decay or build-up of bacteria, you can gently clean your new-born’s gums with a soft damp washcloth after feedings. Before the arrival of any teeth, make sure to use only water.
- As the baby’s first tooth emerges between 4 to 6 months, you can start using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Make circular motions over and around the teeth by taking a rice grain-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste. Ensure your child isn't swallowing any toothpaste and wipe away any excess remaining in the mouth.
- Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle in their mouth and let them finish it in a minimum of 6 minutes. Instil the habit of using a free ﬂow cup as your child turns 6 months to prevent cavities. Babies can also develop tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis, so it is advised to see a paediatric dentist at least by the time your baby celebrates their first birthday.
Caring for Baby’s Teeth between the Age of 3-5 years
Now that your baby is above the age of 3, you need to begin cleaning their teeth at least twice a day. It’s common for children at this age to consume sugary drinks and chocolates. With a proper dental routine, your little one can grow up cavity-free.
- You can upgrade to a pea-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste as your child turns 3 years old. To keep tooth decay and cavities at bay, you could promote to an electric brush for kids for optimal plaque removal.
- Oral-B’s Star Wars Electric Toothbrush and the Disney princess featured Frozen Electric Toothbrush can help in making brushing time a fun activity. Such kids toothbrush comes with four stickers customised with their favourite character that goes around the handle of the brush. An electric toothbrush is safe for kids between this age as long as the parent brushes their teeth.
- You could try using unique flavoured toothpaste or engage them with songs to make brushing less boring. The dentist recommended two-minute cleaning can be easily achieved with such exciting activities.
- In case your toddler is afraid of the dentist, you can make them more comfortable for the appointment by letting them sit in your lap.
Caring for Child’s Teeth between the Age of 6-12 years
As a parent, you can continue brushing your kid’s teeth at least until the age of 8. Occasionally, you can allow them to do it themselves to improve their cleaning technique. Your child would feel more independent as they grow older by taking the responsibility of cleaning their own teeth. But it is advised to inculcate the habit of brushing at least twice a day for healthy teeth.
- Brushing once in the morning and once before bedtime is a routine that your child should follow.
- Take the help of Oral-B Electric Toothbrush to complete brushing for the dentist-recommended two minutes. The timer will alert you when you are done. Theelectric toothbrush also has a special gentle mode to clean your child’s tender gums with extra care. The in-built pressure sensor feature signals you when you are brushing too hard.
- Your child should spit out the toothpaste after brushing but should not rinse their mouth with water. This helps in keeping a strengthening layer of fluoride on their teeth.
- In case of a power toothbrush, your child can just hold the brush in place and let it do the work. After spending a few seconds on each tooth, the same cleaning action can be used on the outer and inner tooth surfaces by tilting the brush.
- While using a manual toothbrush, your child should keep the bristles at a 45-degree angle from the gum line. By applying gentle pressure, the kids toothbrush can be moved in a circular motion for cleaning.
You can make brushing a fun activity with the Disney Magic Timer App that teaches children to brush properly. Flossing is another crucial lesson to inculcate in your kid to remove any build-up of plaque.
Oral Care Tips to Maintain Dental Hygiene during the Holidays
Children love the holiday season as it means heaps of sweets and candies for festivals like Christmas, Diwali, Eid and Raksha Bandhan. But with the fear of tooth decay and cavities, it is essential to teach your child how too many sweets can be damaging to their teeth and gums.
When we eat something, the bacteria in our mouth interact with the food to produce acids which react with our teeth causing cavities. The more sugar you consume, the more acids are produced. This is the reason why sticky and sugary foods and beverages lead to tooth decay. When we eat treats between meals, there is more acid production as the mouth creates less saliva, which is known to combat and neutralize the acids, causing more damage.
Here are some ways of taking care of your child’s oral health:
- Save up the candies, sweets, and cakes to be eaten after your mealtime as the amount of saliva produced in the mouth is higher and will help protect your little one’s teeth.
- Dairy products act as a buffer to the acids produced by the bacteria, reducing the chances of tooth decay. So, let your children have milk with treats.
- Hard candies usually get stuck between teeth causing cavities. Flossing on a daily basis can help remove such particles.
With this, your baby’s mouth will always be cavity-free, and you wouldn’t have to worry about toothaches and decay. Get dentist recommended #1 brand, Oral-B which removes 100% more plaque than traditional toothbrushes!
Learn more on Children's Teeth: Development, Prevention and Problems