Say cheese!

By admin
13 October 2014

If you think you don’t need to brush your child’s baby teeth because they’re going to fall out anyway, think again.

If you think you don’t need to brush your child’s baby teeth because they’re going to fall out anyway, think again.

Children usually start growing molars in the back of their mouths anytime from age two. These “baby teeth” can stay there for up to 10 years, which is why it’s vital to look after your child’s temporary teeth.

Baby teeth also usually guide the permanent teeth into position. Research reveals that any disease in the baby teeth, including mouth or tooth infections, can lead to problems later in your child’s life.

GETTING STARTED

0-6 MONTHS: Even though your child has no teeth, use a wet cloth to clean your child’s gums.

4-7 MONTHS: When the first tooth comes in clean it using a soft-bristled child’s size toothbrush and some water. You should also take your child to the dentist about six months after the first tooth starts to grow.

1-2 YEARS: If your child fusses, try cleaning their teeth in a more comfortable setting such as the bedroom or in front of the TV. Counting and singing helps to speed up the time spent on brushing your child’s teeth and might make it more fun for them too.

2-6 YEARS: Start using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when your child turns two. 7 YEARS AND UP Only when your child turns seven are they able to brush on their own – until then you have to guide them.

EVERY 6 MONTHS: You should visit your dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleaning.

FLOSSING: You can floss your child’s teeth when two of his or her teeth begin to touch. Floss sticks might be easier for both you and your child.

TOOTHBRUSH TIPS:

-        When shopping for a toothbrush, select about three appropriate styles and then let your child choose the one he or she likes most. This helps to make the exercise more fun and by choosing their own toothbrush, they’re more likely to use it.

-        Some retailers sell “singing” toothbrushes so that by the time the song is done, your child has brushed their teeth for the recommended two minutes.

-        Make sure your child cleans their toothbrush thoroughly after each use, and stores it in a dry place.

-        Change your child’s toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles start to flare.

-         If your child gets sick, replace the toothbrush after he or she has recovered.

- Lavern de Vries

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