Even though they eventually fall out, baby teeth are very important for lifelong oral health. These primary teeth help with chewing, speaking, and also guide permanent teeth into their proper places. Children who develop cavities in their teeth are more likely to experience tooth decay as an adult, so it just as important to clean baby teeth as it is permanent teeth.
- An infant will start to show their baby teeth when they are 6 to 12 months old. You need to clean these teeth as soon as they appear. With a grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, brush these teeth gently using a child-size toothbrush
- When teeth start erupting, it is time to start seeing the dentist for regular check-ups.
- Baby bottle tooth decay can happen to your child unless you take steps to avoid it. Do not put sugary drinks in their baby bottle. Also avoid putting your child to sleep with the bottle or using it as a pacifying device rather than a feeder.
- Do not dip pacifiers in honey or sugar because doing so can increase the risk of tooth decay.
- When a child is between 3 to 6 years old, you can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing.
- Consult your dentist if your child sucks their thumb after the age of 4, or if they do it vigorously. Thumb sucking can change the shape of a child’s mouth and affects how teeth grow in. You may need to take actions to help stop this habit.
- Supervise your child when they brush their teeth. Do so until they are old enough to know they shouldn’t swallow toothpaste, usually about the age of 7.