Taking Care of Children’s Teeth – How to Start

Taking Care of Children’s Teeth – How to Start

beautiful smile -- children dentist MississaugaProbably one of the questions most new parents ask when it comes to their babies is when do they start taking care of the little one’s teeth? Another question would be, how do they go about taking care of their baby’s teeth? Taking care of your child’s teeth is something that should begin even before these start to show.

In order to properly initiate child dental care, you will have to start from the time they are born. You may not see it, but your baby will have 20 primary teeth as soon as they leave your womb, however these are still underneath their gums, waiting to come out. You should start cleaning their mouth and their gums with the use of a damp, soft washcloth that you run over their gums daily. This will help prevent the possible buildup of bacteria in the mouth.

To help you take proper care of your child’s teeth, and teach them to do so as well, here are a few more tips that may come in handy:

Start brushing their teeth with an infant toothbrush early – As soon as their first tooth comes out, you should get them a baby toothbrush and start getting them used to brushing. A very small amount of toothpaste, a lot of water, and careful brushing of the teeth should be done until the child is about 2. At that age, you should then start teaching them to brush their teeth on their own. You can do this by having them brush beside you, and instruct them on how to properly do this. This can be done till they are around 5.

Get them used to seeing a dentist before they are one – Another thing that you should focus some attention on, when it comes to child dental care, is their first visit to a dentist. This is another important event that you should not neglect to do, and should also be done as early as possible. Some people say that you should take your child to a dentist when they turn 1, while others say that the best time to take them to a dental professional is as soon as their first tooth comes out. Either way, you should always schedule a dental visit before or by the time they celebrate their first birthday.

Don’t leave your child alone with a bottle of milk for long periods of time – Some parents try to keep their children quiet by simply giving them a bottle in their crib and walking off to do other things. This is a no-no since such a habit can actually cause cavities. Feed your child, and remove the bottle as soon as they are no longer feeding.

Have your baby drink water after they eat, which can then be followed by the brushing of teeth – When your baby starts to take in solid food, you should make it a habit to have them drink water afterwards, to wash away any food residue left in the mouth. Brushing their teeth afterwards is also a good idea, to remove stubborn food particles that may stick to their teeth and gums.

The main reason why it is advisable that you start your child’s dental care needs early is to get them used to taking care of their teeth from the very start. Going to a dentist at an early age is also ideal since it helps prevent the possibility of their fearing dentists as they grow older. Getting them used to dental visits, having someone check their teeth regularly, and making them clean their teeth daily not only helps them but also helps you. You won’t have any problems trying to convince a child to brush their teeth, or to prepare for a visit to the dentist because they will grow up with the idea that it is a normal thing.

Dr. Allan Hawryluk
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Dr. Allan Hawryluk

Allan Hawryluk Jr. is a Mississauga-based dentist who has built a reputation for comprehensive dental care. Born and raised in Port Credit, he returned after completing his dental residency in 2003 at the University of Colorado, Denver Health Sciences Center. He feels privileged to serve the community and is committed to maintaining our clinic standards set by his late father - Dr. Allan R. Hawryluk (Sr).