Sometimes parents can get so caught up in their babies’ healthcare that dental care becomes an afterthought. Sunstar has prepared information designed to help your patients with babies appreciate the importance of early dental care. This information is provided for free distribution.
Baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth. These teeth start to erupt in the mouth about the age of 4-5 months and all 20 teeth are in at about 2 years of age. Although this is generally the rule, some children start the teething process later. Usually, these teeth are lost around 7 years of age with the last tooth staying in the mouth until 12-14 years of age. During this span of time, the baby or deciduous teeth are important for eating, speaking, smiling, and most importantly, to hold and maintain the spaces for the adult teeth.
Care of these "precious pearls" should include wiping the new tooth with a gauze square or the corner of a washcloth. Tooth brushing should begin as soon as all parts of the tooth cannot be easily wiped. The amount of toothpaste to be used should be no more than the size of a grain of rice. Too much toothpaste is not pleasant for the child, and the frequent ingestion or swallowing of the paste can cause dental fluorosis or "mottling" of the tooth structure. The soft multi-tufted, end-rounded toothbrush is best for all teeth and their surrounding gum tissue. This small brush head is ideal for a child's mouth.
Flossing is also very important to the overall dental health of your child. Whenever two teeth are touching, there is potential for bacteria to be between them. Flossing is best if the child puts his or her head in the parent's lap so the parent has better access to the child's mouth.
Changing the toothbrush frequently is also important for overall dental health. The toothbrush has the potential to harbor bacteria at the very base of the bristles. It is best to change the toothbrush every three months, or immediately following the flu, a cold, or throat infection.