Dental care starts as soon as your baby is born, long before his or her first tooth erupts, and you will likely brush your child's teeth well into his or her toddler years. To make these early years as successful as possible from a dental perspective, you need a few supplies. Consider stocking your home with these five items:
After nursing or bottle feeding, the milk may form a film on your child's gums, and that film can lead to rot and decay. Luckily, it's easy to keep your child's mouth clean. Simply place a bit of sterile gauze on your index finger and gently rub your baby's gums clean after a feeding.
2. Rocking Chair
Unfortunately, if your child falls asleep while nursing or taking a bottle, the mouth cleaning with gauze may wake him or her up, and if you nurse him or her back to sleep, you will just have to repeat the gauze cleaning, potentially creating an endless cycle.
For that reason, it is important to have other tools that help your baby to gently fall asleep. Instead of letting your baby fall asleep at the breast or with a bottle, rock him or her to sleep. Alternatively, a baby swing or wearing your baby in a sling can also help soothe the little one to sleep.
As your child gets older and you begin supplementing breast milk or formula with food, you should invest in a water bottle. Unlike soda or juice, water doesn't contain any sugars that can build up on the teeth. Additionally, when your child drinks water with meals or snacks, it helps to naturally wash away debris and stuck on food from his or her teeth or gums.
4. Fluoride-Free Toothpaste
When your child finally gets a few teeth, you need to switch from gauze to a soft-bristled baby toothbrush. Don't use your own toothbrush, or you will spread bacteria from your mouth into your baby's mouth. Similarly, don't use an adult toothbrush as its head is simply too large for a baby's mouth.
Most importantly, however, remember to invest in fluoride-free toothpaste. Babies and young toddlers cannot spit out toothpaste easily, and you don't want them swallowing fluoride as it can be unhealthy. Instead, save fluoridated toothpaste until your child is old enough to spit reliably (around the age of four to six or as recommended by your dentist).
5. Teeth-Friendly Snacks
As your toddler can likely snack all day long, it's important to stock up on teeth-friendly snacks. Stay away from sugary or super starchy treats, and instead focus on cheeses, yogurt and crunchy vegetables.
5 October 2015
As you age, it can become harder to take care of your teeth. Motor challenges can make it hard to floss, while memory issues may make it easy to overlook brushing. Whether you are a senior looking for solutions to some of the common dental problems or a senior with specific questions about cavities or oral surgery, you have come to the right place. In this blog, I am going to touch on a range of topics related to seniors and oral health. This is the type of resource I wish my mum would have had access to in her senior years, and I hope you enjoy having access to it during yours. I appreciate you reading my posts.