All parents know about the importance of oral hygiene. However, almost all of them face the question about the proper time to start brushing teeth in a child. All the experts agree that it should be started from the beginning of the eruption.
But in the age when the first tooth appears – about six months – the baby is still too small. Therefore, many parents have some doubts and fears about this. To dispel them, you need to know why these procedures are needed and the consequences of their absence.
Furthermore, very important for oral hygiene procedures in small children is the methods of cleaning itself, which changes with the age, as well as the correct choice of tools (brushes, pastes, etc.).
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Many parents underestimate the importance of baby teeth for the health and further development of the baby. This is due to the fact that we all know about their loss- in the next few years.
Formation of teeth takes place before birth – after about the fifth week of pregnancy. A very important role plays a mother’s diet during this period. After all, the baby is born though without teeth but with the beginnings of not only all twenty milk teeth, but even twelve molars.
Appearance and health of permanent teeth directly depend on how well an oral health was conducted and how well baby teeth were cleaned. Any inflammations in the mouth, carious lesions, and other dental diseases can affect the molars’ germs even before the loss of milk teeth.
In addition, the health of the first teeth – is the most important factor and a prerequisite for the formation of a correct occlusion and normal development of the jaw system.
When the changes in the diet of the kid begin and it is giving solid foods, he should be ready for its normal chewing. It is strongly reflected in the overall health and a normal well-being.
Another reason for the fact that an oral hygiene is necessary from the very beginning, is a habit that is worked out by the baby. Small children are very sensitive to the first procedures refer to any manipulation in their mouths.
Therefore, the earlier a child gets used to it, the easier and faster it will learn to brush the teeth by itself. This habit will remain for a lifetime. We all know that prevention and hygiene are the foundations of health.
Talking about when to start doing the cleaning of children’s teeth, you need to differentiate several periods. Each of them will have their own, different, methods and tools used for cleaning.
Dental care begins even before the eruption of teeth, from the very first months. After eating food leftovers accumulate in the mouth of the child. In addition, a beneficial effect on growth and development of teeth has the massage of the gums.
You can do this after each feeding, using a moistened with warm clean water bandage. It’s just a put on the finger, so it is convenient to manipulate it. This procedure should be conducted after about half an hour after eating to avoid regurgitation.
To help your child during the difficult period when it starts teething, you can use special hygiene. One of them – a brush-teether. It is equipped with a safety disk, which will prevent possible injuries.
The child may even want to try to do it himself – it will contribute to the formation of self-hygiene practices, that is very important. Movements are not strong enough, for the child to able to fully clean the gums and make the massage, but it can just keep biting and moving the brush in his mouth.
Another way to ensure quality care for future teeth is a pencil brush. It is a cap with knobs made of silicone, which is worn on the finger.
Around this time, the first incisors should appear. Nutrition is still not conducive to provide the normal self-cleaning of mucous and of the teeth, as long as the child eats mostly viscous or fatty foods. It can remain on mucosa or adhere to an enamel.
For this period, a special children’s brushes, which have rubber bristles are produced. It is made so, that a very delicate mucous membrane of the gums and mouth is not being traumatized.
Still, be sure to make the right moves: the upper incisors – move down, bottom – up. The area where there is a closure is cleaned in a horizontal direction.
The child may try to imitate the movements of the mother – it can be encouraged, as it contributes to early learning. For this period the first visit to the dentist should be scheduled so that he can assess the accuracy of tooth growth and enamel condition.
At this time the baby has already from 8 to 12 teeth. Therefore, the approach to health should change. Now you can buy the first real brush. It should be bright and beautiful to attract the child’s attention. However, it must be to a greater extent comfortable for a mom’s hand, because for now, cleaning procedure will be carried out by adults.
You should not buy a brush with natural bristles because it contributes to the development of bacteria. You need an artificial one. The head must be quite small to completely cover 2-2.5 teeth only.
During this period, there are already the first chewing teeth. They are larger and have a different shape. The complex pattern of the chewing surface is more conducive to the formation and accumulation of plaque.
For an effective cleaning, it is necessary to use a brush, which is designed for this age group. It is easy to buy it, because such products intended for children, usually have special markings, which tell about the age.
The movements themselves during the cleaning process must be slightly different. In addition to those mentioned earlier, you need to add another perpendicular to the chewing surface. All manipulations carried out by adults should be extremely careful in order not to damage the surface of the gums.
At this age, it is the best to form skills of self-cleaning. The kid watches his parents – how they hold the brush, what movements they make – and try to repeat the process.
The kid is already beginning to be independent. Now it should be mandatory to teach rinsing after cleaning, even after eating. When the skill is perfected, and the baby does not swallow the rinse water, parents can buy the first toothpaste.
At first, the paste will be applied only by the parents, because an amount of it is also important. Some dentists recommend doing this until 5-6 years.
It is advisable to follow the instructions written in the manual or on the tube, but in any case, the amount of toothpaste used should not be more than a grain of rice, and then – a pea. At the beginning, you can slightly move bristles practically not squeezing a tube.
This age is also very important. After all, a change of an occlusion begins now. Milk teeth become loose at first, and then fall out, then the first permanent teeth erupt.
At the risk zone, there are permanent teeth that are not located at the beginning, but at the mouth depth. On them, especially, at the first place, carries may appear. This is because it is difficult for a child to reach them with a brush and to clean the surface of a bad bacterial plaque.
You can start to use an electric brush. However, this should be done with caution. Electro brushes should not completely replace a conventional manipulative brush. It can be used several times a week. In addition, it will entertain a child by an unusual process and it will be excited about the next procedure.
A special approach is needed for the choice of instruments for baby’s dental care. After all, the quality of cleaning depends, in particular, on it. Here are the basic requirements for children’s toothbrushes.
Most of the toothpaste, especially if we talk about universal kinds of toothpaste, that are intended for all members of the family, have more or less the same composition. However, “adult” kinds of toothpaste cannot be used by children as the concentration of their components may harm the baby.
For very small children (up to four years) it is better to use such kinds of toothpaste, which almost or do not contain fluoride. Its maximum concentration should not exceed 200 units. With four years it is allowed to use a toothpaste with a slightly larger amount of fluorine – 500 units.
In addition, you need to pay attention to the index of abrasiveness (amount of polishing and abrasive hard particles). It should be about 20-50 conventional units.