Even before baby teeth begin to erupt, around the age of 6-10 months when the first baby tooth comes through, it is essential to start a regular oral hygiene regimen with your baby at home. It is recommended to use a damp cloth or piece of gauze to wipe your baby’s gums after bottles and before bed to remove sugars from the milk. As soon as the first baby tooth erupts, you can begin using a small toothbrush and non-fluoridated toothpaste to brush. The baby teeth will erupt between the age of 6-10 months until around 25-33 months. Baby teeth may be susceptible to cavities as soon as they break through the gum tissue into the mouth, so it is vital to have a good oral hygiene regimen.
It is essential to help your child with brushing at least twice a day until around the age of 8. This is because children typically don’t have the ability or the understanding to do a thorough job. The first permanent molars erupt around the age of 6, and these teeth are particularly susceptible to cavities. You can either brush your child’s teeth or supervise them while they brush.
Flossing is recommended as soon as any two teeth come into contact with each other. Often, baby teeth will have spacing to allow for the larger adult teeth to erupt later on. The space between molar teeth will usually close in around 3-4 years old, which requires flossing as well. Floss wands make flossing your child’s teeth easier.
It is recommended to incorporate fluoride into your child’s daily routine around three years old. Fluoride helps to slow down and prevent cavity formation by strengthening the enamel of the teeth. At three years old, use a grain of rice size amount on your child’s toothbrush.
Reduce Sugar Intake
Reducing sugar intake reduces the risk of cavities. The types of sugars that are particularly cavity-causing are gummy, chewy and sticky sugars such as dried fruit and granola bars. These types of sweets get stuck in the biting surfaces of the teeth and prolong the exposure to sugar.
No Sugary Vitamins
Vitamins that contain sugar, especially gummy vitamins, expose the teeth to sugar daily and increase the risk of cavities. Make sure to buy vitamins that are sugar-free and sweetened from different sources besides sugar.