When should I clean my baby's teeth.
Cheri - posted on 02/05/2010
I read your posting asking for advice on how to get your son to feel more at ease with teeth brushing. Have you tried a reward system? I would tell my sons that if they let mommy brush their teeth the right way, or if they did it right themselves that they would get a prize. Temp tattoos, a little sugar-free lollipop or candy drop, stickers, pencils, etc. are great prizes. I was told by a friend to make a treasure chest and allow the child to pick out rewards/prizes for little tasks that get accomplished. You could even get those ribbons from dollar stores that say great job or i'm proud of you, or you're awesome. Kids love those!
I would also recommend having him sing a song like Happy birthday or ABC's twice, or using the blue teeth stain to show him where to brush and watch him go to town. Hope this helps. Good luck to you both. :D
Cheri - posted on 02/05/2010
I once asked my sons' pediatric dentist when would be the best time to schedule one's first dental visit. I have been told repeatedly, as soon as they get their first tooth. Check your insurance first. If they don't cover visits for children under a certain age. You may have to pay out-of-pocket.
As mentioned earlier, stores do carry slip-on finger brushes. I started using it to brush their gums as small babes with water. When they got their first teeth, I started using the toothpaste with fluoride. Use a small pea-sized amount. They won't get sick, at least mine didn't. Feel free to seek the advice of your dentist. He or She will no better than I do. When your child gets older, move up to the kids toothbrushes, soft bristles and continue using fluoride toothpaste. Brush two to three times a day. Once more teeth come in, you can start flossing too. My kids dentist indicated they should be flossing too.
I disagree with Danas' statement about "they are just baby teeth, they'll lose them anyway". Although this is true, some kids lose their teeth much sooner than others. My eldest has only loss two of his baby teeth thus far and will be 7 in a few months; I attribute it to good hygiene and his teeth simply not being ready to come out.
I would assume your child isn't drinking a lot of juice or sodas/pop/soft drinks yet. Lord knows I limit my kids intake. They drink more water than anything else. Milk would be the second most consumed beverage. I give them juice once in awhile, like may two to four times a month. Now that they are a little older, I have them split a can of soda once every couple of months. I don't give my kids candy often, if at all. They usually only have candy around easter, halloween, and christmas (goodies). And even then it's limited to a piece or two.
For future reference, when you are getting your little one to learn to brush his teeth himself or herself, allow him/her to mirror you. Have them sing the Happy birthday or ABC song twice while brushing to ensure proper technique and brush time. (Dentist recommendation that I live by, even for myself. LOL! It works with handwashing too.) You brush and they mimic mommy. Use the bottle of blue teeth stain. They swish it around and have to brush it off. It clings to plaque. I told my kids if there is germs on their teeth it'll turn blue and they have to brush till the blue is gone.
The boys think of it as a game, and they have a blast brushing their teeth! Good luck! :D
Sneaky - posted on 02/03/2010
Here in Australia it is recommended that you start brushing them twice a day from the moment they get them and then brush with a baby tooth paste from the age of 18 months. It is also recommended to have their teeth looked at by a dentist at 12 months and then have regular dental check ups every six months like an adult should. Note: the dentist doesn't really do anything but count them and make sure there are no cavities, but I also hold my kids on my lap when I have my teeth cleaned by the dentist so they get used to the noise and know that the dentist is nothing to be afraid of :o) The dental association also recommends that kids have their teeth brushed by an adult up to the age of about seven (after they have brushed themselves obviously).
I believe that the guidelines were put in place in Australia because there was an increasing incidence of one year old babies needing to undergo general anesthetics to have all their rotten teeth removed :o( It is fair enough to think that they are just baby teeth and will one day fall out anyway, but cavities can not be left untreated because it can adversely effect the adult teeth that are coming out behind them and babies and toddlers can't really sit still for a filling to be done :o(
Some advice from my personal experience: you can 'brush' your babies teeth with just a damp washcloth but with my eldest daughter we had such a hard time introducing her to a toothbrush when she was older - she did NOT like having it in her mouth, lol! With my second baby we just started her off with a baby tooth brush (small head, soft bristles) and she has never had any problems with it :o)
Good luck! And you might want to have a camera handy to catch the look on your sons face when he thinks "you want me to stick that in mouth and do WHAT?!?!" :o)
When my 3 kids got their first teeth I would brush them with those tiny finger brushes(you can get them in the baby sections. They also have a tooth paste that is floride free for babies. I recommend at least once a day before bed maybe even in the morning brushing your childs tooth or teeth. Though they are baby teeth and will fall out they can still get a cavity which will be painful! I would find a local dentist that can better assist you with the best way to care for your babies teeth.
Dana - posted on 02/03/2010
When she's old enough to do it herself. No, even when she's old enough I would not use anything but water for a few years. They are just baby teeth, they'll loose them anyway. I would concern myself more with teaching them to brush and encourage a good diet while discouraging soft drinks (and anything with refined sugar).
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