Your tiny tot’s pearly whites are essential for a beautiful smile just as they are vital for eating and chewing. Developing cavities in the baby teeth can greatly affect their adult ones, giving rise to crooked teeth. Supervising their dental care routine to prevent teeth problems and maintaining a healthy mouth can instil a lifetime of good dental habits. So, let’s understand some aspects of dental care for children along with the development of teeth and the problems related to it.
When Do Baby Teeth Start Developing?
Teeth start forming in children when the baby is just a foetus which stresses the importance of providing good nutrition to the mother during pregnancy. After birth, the first baby teeth erupt through the gum line between the age of 6 to 12 months. The first teeth to emerge is mostly the lower front tooth called as central incisor followed by the second front tooth on the lower jaw. You shall find the next set of teeth to come in are the front incisors on the upper jaw. All 20 of the baby teeth usually emerge by the time your baby shall turn three, although the order and pace can highly vary in children. Permanent teeth begin replacing the baby teeth at around the age of 6 years and will continue until the age of 21.
Preventive Measures to Maintain Good Dental Care
Here are some key preventive measures that you can follow for fewer teeth problems:
- Limit the amount of sugar you consume to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
- Ensure your little one gets enough fluoride through drinking water or as a dental treatment at the dentist. This helps strengthen tooth enamel and combat decay. You can also ask your dentist if you require any fluoride supplements.
- You can consider dental sealants which offer an extra layer of protection against decay and cavities. These sealants are made of plastic and are attached to the teeth by a professional dental team.
- Inculcate the habit of brushing and flossing their teeth on a regular basis. Dentist recommended two-minute brushing is very crucial to have healthy teeth. You could incorporate some fun activities such as tuning to a song or using flavoured toothpaste to turn brushing into an exciting routine. This way you can stop worrying about your child’s oral care.
- Upgrade to an electric toothbrush as it removes more plaque than a traditional manual brush. Oral-B has designed some interesting brushes such as the Star Wars Electric Toothbrush and Frozen Electric Toothbrush, which comes with personalised stickers. This will soon become your tiny one’s favourite brush for cleaning!
Common Oral Care Problems in Babies
Let’s understand some common challenges you may come across as a parent when it comes to your baby’s oral health:
- Bottle Tooth Decay : This is a prevalent problem in many babies who have a habit of sleeping with a bottle or sucking on the bottle for a longer period. To prevent such oral problems, wipe the gums with a clean damp washcloth after feeding. As the teeth start emerging, brush on a daily basis with a rice grain-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste.
- Thumb-sucking : This is a term used for the oral sucking habit of kids called as non-nutritive sucking. It includes sucking the thumb or fingers. Many contemporary paediatric health providers claim these habits have crucial formative and nurturing functions. Thus, it should be at least ignored for the first few years of their life, which is up to the age of four. However, the sucking habit should stop by the time permanent teeth start to erupt. You can consult a dentist on your baby’s finger sucking habits.
- White Spots on Teeth : Start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth emerges and schedule a dental appointment by their first birthday.
Oral Care Problems in Toddlers
- Fear of Dentist: You can sit with the baby in your lap during the exam to make your child feel more comfortable.
- Creating a Dental Care Routine: Try being the role model and set a good example for your child by brushing alongside them. This can help create a proper routine for dental care for children.
- Stains from Antibiotics: Consult a paediatrician before medications are prescribed.
Oral Care Problems in Grade-Schoolers
- Eating sweets : Avoid giving your children treats between meals and offer healthy snack options.
- Sustaining Oral Injuries: Ensure that your child takes care of themselves while playing sports to avoid any potential injuries to their mouth and teeth.
Oral Care Problems in Teenagers
- Braces : As a teenager, they may begin wearing braces or other orthodontic devices. So, make sure they clean their teeth well to prevent food particles from getting stuck around braces. You can use Oral-B electric toothbrush for cleaning and optimal dental hygiene.
Choose Oral-B electric toothbrush to keep teeth problems away as it helps remove plaque efficiently!