- December 11, 2018
- Cedar Lodge Dental
Hello to all Cedar Lodge Dental Group readers! We are so thrilled to share with you a few Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to the hygiene care/routine you may be looking to start for little one at home.
It is not uncommon for experienced parents to share information with first-time parents. The information given can most certainly be a life saver. How to put a crying baby to sleep, when to start introducing solids, and when do they sleep all through the night? While this information is absolute gold, there is little to no information given to new parents about oral hygiene. Together, we have listed some of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to the needs of your child’s dental care.
First Up: Baby Talk
All about Teething
Generally, a baby’s first tooth will erupt between 6 and 8 months, though some babies begin teething at four months. Signs of teething include drooling, swollen and tender gums, fussiness, and the increase in chewing or gnawing on things. Your baby may also experience a slightly raised temperature or changes in sleep patterns. Teething can be quite painful for your little one, but there are ways we as caregivers can help ease the teething process. Teething babies LOVE to chew. This is normal, and it is okay for your little one to chew as much as he or she likes, as long as you are making sure that the things they chew on are safe and clean. Try giving your baby a clean, cool, wet washcloth or a refrigerated (not frozen) teething toy to chew on to help comfort those sore gums. You can also massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger. So when can you expect all these baby teeth to erupt? Check below.
- Stage 1: Lower central incisors: 6-10 months
- Stage 2: Upper central incisors: 8-12 months
- Stage 3: Upper lateral incisors: 9-13 months
- Stage 4: Lower lateral incisors: 10-16 months
- Stage 5-6: Upper and lower first molars: 13-19 months
- Stage 7-8: Upper and lower canines: 16-23 months
- Stage 9-10: Upper and lower second molars: 23-33 months
Remember, every baby is different, so don’t be alarmed if your little one’s teeth aren’t following the above eruption chart exactly. Call your dentist (us!) to schedule your little one’s first dental checkup as soon as their first tooth erupts.
How to start a routine your child will love!
Supplies needed: Kids Soft Toothbrush (age appropriate), Kids Toothpaste, and Kids floss.
How to introduce brushing and flossing
You may be asking, “What age should I start having them brush?” The answer to that is at any time, you can start an oral hygiene routine. Even when your baby has a gummy smile and no signs of eruption, you are able to wipe his/her gums clean. This allows them to get used to having something cleaning their mouths. Once a tooth has fully erupted, you are now able to better establish a routine that is similar to your own.
When introducing brushing for the first time for your child it is important to keep things fun and lighthearted so they can warm up to the concept of oral hygiene. Depending on the age you begin their routine, you can start by having them chew on their toothbrush and let them feel the bristles for the first time, or if they are older you can get them a fun toothbrush and toothpaste to help get them excited for their new adventure into brushing and flossing! While your child is still at the age he/she cannot brush on their own, it will be your task to help them until the time comes for your child to start on their own. It is important to brush both top and bottom teeth.
Flossing is also very important to include in your child’s oral care routine, and should begin once the spaces between your child’s teeth close up and the teeth are touching. Flossing is a mechanical way of removing the plaque and bacteria that hide away between our teeth. There are many ways to floss, and many tools to help with flossing. Different types of floss may be easier for one child than it is for another. The best thing to do is to use a floss your child will tolerate. Flossing should be introduced the same as brushing, light-hearted and fun until they can learn the importance of oral hygiene.
All about Routines
Your child’s routine may differ from your own as they are first learning. Sticking to a routine makes it much easier to create a healthy habit. Brushing and flossing can help with the prevention of cavities, inflammation in the gum tissue, and bad breathe. It is always best to start a routine with your child early on. But when doing this together and making it fun, it can be more of a success at home!
While every child is different, it is still important to have them brush first thing in the morning(AFTER breakfast) before starting their day. A grain of rice-sized amount of toothpaste is the perfect amount for a small child who does not have the spitting capabilities. If your child is not able to spit, you will not need to worry about having them rinse with water after. With the amount of toothpaste being very little, this will not harm them if they cannot spit out the toothpaste. Once your child is able to spit out toothpaste you can increase the amount of toothpaste placed on their toothbrush to the size of a pea, and have them learn to rinse with water.
The night-time routine for your child will be the same as the morning routine. A rice sized amount of toothpaste, brush- brush- brush, practicing how to spit/rinse (depending on age), and flossing again to help get them comfortable with it, and to remove any leftover debris of food and plaque.
Amount of Time when brushing
Did you know as adults we should be brushing for 2 minutes? This is approximately 30 seconds per quadrant, meaning the upper left, lower left, upper right, and lower right sections of the mouth. This may have you asking, “How can I brush my child’s teeth for 2 minutes?” When introducing brushing for the first, it is best to not worry about time as much as technique and getting them familiar with their new routine. As your child gets older you are able to increase time, and allow them to try brushing on their own.
I hope you enjoyed reading about teething, along with brushing and flossing. Keep on the lookout for more blogs by the rest of the team members. We are chock full of dental information! If you have any questions or concerns about your child dental needs, feel free to call our office or your family dentist. We can provide you with the information you need, and we would love to see you in our office!