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How To Care For Baby Teeth

Baby teeth help your child to learn to chew, and speak properly. The most important job for teeth is to maintain teeth space in your child's gums for their adult teeth.

In saying this, the rate of childhood decay is rapidly increasing. Babies and Toddlers are just as much of a risk for dental decay, as an older child or adult, so caring for your baby's teeth needs to begin at birth.

By starting good oral hygiene habits early, your child will be well equipped to have healthy teeth for life.

Brushing

- Even before your baby's teeth appear, you should gently wipe their gums with a moistened soft cloth once a day.

- Once teeth start to appear, use a toothbrush specially designed for babies, with a small head and soft, rounded bristles to gently massage their teeth and gums.

- Up to 18 months of age, babies teeth should only be brushed with water, once a day after the evening feed.

- Once your toddler has become used to brushing and during their third year, start brushing twice a day, after breakfast and just before bed.

- Low fluoride toothpaste can be used from 18 months upwards. Only use a small amount and encourage child to spit out excess. If the child can't spit out toothpaste use a damp cloth to wipe face.

 

 

Tips to Avoid Dental Decay

- If your baby has teeth, its best to avoid settling them to sleep overnight with a breastfeed or bottle of milk, flavoured milk, cordial, soft drink or fruit juice. Bacteria feed on the sugar in these drinks and form plaque acids on teeth, which in turn eat into the tooth surface and cause decay.

- Encourage your baby to drink from a toddler cup from 12 months of age.

- Don't allow your child to take a bottle of milk or sugary drink to bed.

- If your baby needs to suck on something to settle for sleep offer a dummy.

- If your baby has a breastfeed before bed, wipe down teeth with a moistened cloth before sleep

What foods to avoid

- Food high in refined carbohydrates (sugar) ie fruit snack bars, lollies, muesli bars, sweet bisquits, soft drinks and juices.

Remember if you practice good dental hygiene when your children are younger it will save you the hassle and expense of multiple dentist visits later on.


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