The oral hygiene of the baby is a crucial moment to which parents should pay close attention. Many believe that milk teeth do not require special care — after all, very soon they will be «replaced» by indigenous ones. This is a false statement! It is important to teach your child how to brush their teeth as early as possible, otherwise you will not be able to avoid treatment at the dentist in the future — and this will definitely not please the baby.
Healthy teeth in children: why is oral hygiene important?
Doctors are unanimous in their opinion — proper care of milk teeth will be an excellent prevention of their diseases in the future. Therefore, forget about the «useful» advice of some parents and the older generation that brushing children’s teeth can be postponed until the appearance of indigenous ones. Milk teeth are even more in need of regular care. And there are good reasons for this:
- The enamel has not yet had time to become strong — caries can quickly hit it. And these risks are sometimes not associated with the type of food — both artificial formula and breast milk contain sugar, which becomes an excellent breeding ground for bacteria.
- Teeth with noticeable signs of caries become a source of infections that can adversely affect the health of the baby.
- Running caries is always a pain. A visit to the dentist for young children is not the most pleasant «adventure».
- If the milk tooth is severely damaged by caries, it will have to be removed. And this process is very undesirable, since the risks of violations of the formation of the correct bite increase.
Parents should take care of the health of their baby’s milk teeth. If you competently approach the issue, then there will be no problems with teaching a child oral hygiene.
Children’s health: when to start dental care?
Start taking care of your baby’s oral hygiene even before teething — from 4 months. Bacteria can accumulate on the gums, which can cause unpleasant diseases (candidiasis, gingivitis, stomatitis). To ensure proper hygiene, wipe the gums with gauze swabs dipped in boiled water or special fingertips. Such simple procedures will not only help prevent the formation of caries in the future, but will also form a habit of oral hygiene in the crumbs — a toothbrush will not cause a “protest” later.
It will be difficult to designate a specific age from which a baby should be taught to brush their teeth on their own — it all depends on the characteristics of the child. But the first acquaintance with a toothbrush can begin as early as a year, when the child is just learning to hold objects in his hands. On his own, he will not be able to do anything yet due to the lack of “skills” — you have to help him. Use special silicone fingertip brushes. In stores, you can also find toothpastes for the smallest, which strengthen the enamel without causing irritation of the mucous membranes.
And attempts to brush their teeth on their own can be started from the age of 2 — the baby already more confidently holds objects in his hands, understands the «instructions» of his parents. Do not delay teaching your child to oral hygiene — the sooner you start, the sooner the baby will get used to the new procedure for him.
How to brush milk teeth properly: advice from dentists
The rules for hygiene of children’s teeth practically do not differ from those recommendations that adults follow. But here it is important not just to formally perform the procedure, but to thoroughly brush your teeth. Here are some dental hygiene tips for baby teeth:
- Children’s teeth need to be brushed twice a day — in the morning and before bed.
- The duration of the procedure is 1-2 minutes.
- Make sure that the baby applies the brush to the teeth at an angle of 45 °.
- Milk teeth should be brushed on both sides.
Do not forget about the tongue — it is cleaned with the back of the brush.
How to teach your child to brush their own teeth?
Of course, at first, the baby’s attempts to brush their own teeth will be far from ideal. At first, be sure to help him and praise him for his achievements. The best way to teach your baby to hygiene is by personal example. The guarantee of success will be joint visits to the bathroom — brush your teeth with him. The kid will quickly master the «technique» of brushing his teeth, if hygiene procedures are regular — do not miss a single day.
And so that the baby happily hurries to the bathroom, conduct training using the elements of the game. Such «tricks» will help instill a love of hygiene and save the baby from fear of the «unknown». Here are some proven methods:
- Take a mirror to the bathroom
Place a mirror in front of the baby — children love to look at their reflection. And perhaps the unusual procedure will no longer seem so “terrible” to the baby. In addition, in this way it will be easier for the child to control their movements.
- Buying the right brush
Why don’t you and your baby choose a toothbrush. Children are attracted to bright colors and unusual shapes — this will not be a problem, since there are a huge selection of brushes in stores. The task is simplified if the child already has an «idol» — a favorite superhero. You can buy just such a cartoon toothbrush.
- We go to the bathroom with toys
Let the baby take toys with him for the first time — such “moral support” will definitely not be superfluous. You can ask the child to «teach» his favorite doll or bear to brush his teeth — let him show by example how this is done.
Have regular family competitions to see who can brush their teeth the fastest. The kid will certainly want to be a winner — this motivates him.
The smallest may be interested in brushing their teeth to a song or a rhyme. Find a short rhyme about the benefits of hygiene procedures and pronounce the words while the baby brushes his teeth.
- Recording success
Praise your child for every success. This also applies to the observance of hygiene rules. You can stick a poster on the wall and “reward” him with some stickers for each procedure performed on his own.
- Watch useful cartoons
Sometimes watching cartoons about «not wanting» gives a positive effect — be sure to look for these. It’s great if the baby can understand how important hygiene is.
Not all children are happy with the «idea» of daily hygiene procedures — the learning process can take a long time. During this period, do not exert strong pressure — the baby will resist even more. Such a technique, of course, may well work, but when the child gets older, he will simply stop watching his teeth in protest. There is nothing better than «soft persistence». It is worth trying to find out the true reason for the refusal to brush your teeth — perhaps he does not like the toothbrush or the taste of the paste is unpleasant. These «problems» are completely solvable.
Children’s teeth need special protection, so try not to give up slack (at least at first) during the training period — brushing your teeth should be regular. And it is better never to use the «exemption» from the hygienic procedure as an encouragement.