We all want the perfect smile…that flash of white healthy looking teeth that tugs at someone’s heart and melts someone else’s own. We want these for ourselves and our children. But sometimes, the damage to those perfect smiles is done long before they become adults. Here are 5 tips to aid the development of healthy teeth in infants.
• Do not use baby pacifiers for prolonged periods. They are useful in providing some comfort for babies but prolonged use can interfere with development of the mouth and the teeth.
• Start cleaning your child’s tooth early. As soon as the first tooth is observed in the baby’s mouth, that’s the time to start the cleaning. Don’t wait until he has a mouthful of teeth. Cleaning involves using a wet napkin, wash cloth (reserved only for this) or gauze to wipe the baby’s mouth, teeth and gum. This should also be done at least once a day and should be combined with gentle massaging of the gum and gingivial tissues.
• Guard against baby bottle tooth decay. Mothers are advised to practice exclusive breastfeeding but if for any reason bottles have to be used for any period, this should be carefully monitored. Ensure that baby never falls asleep with a bottle containing milk (be it expressed breast milk or formula), fruit juice (fresh or packaged) or any other sweetened fluids. This ensures that the baby’s teeth is not in contact with sugary fluids for prolonged periods of time. This prevents tooth decay.
• The baby’s first dental visit should be scheduled between 6 and 12 months of life. This starts and maintains the baby on the right path. Before this first visit, try to simulate a dentist’s visit at home to make the baby more comfortable with the idea when it eventually happens.
• How many of you have tasted more often than necessary baby’s cough syrup just because it tastes nice? Well, know ye that some cough syrups contain substances like citric acids and some sugars that attack tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. If given at bedtime, the problem is worsened as saliva which would naturally wash away these substances from the surface of the teeth is produced in low quantities increasing the risk of tooth decay.
So, let’s give a babies a great start with fabulous smiles to die for 😀