Ever wondered why dentist emphasize on brushing of teeth even for the kids? You might have come across this quote quite often that says, “every tooth in the man’s head is more valuable than a diamond” by, Miguel De Cervantes. This actually is true and applies to both kids as well as adults.
Whenever the first tooth erupts in the baby’s mouth there comes a thought in the parent’s mind that “When should I start brushing my child’s teeth? ” But in most of the families there are so many myths which are related to the baby’s teeth even in the times of so much advancements and modernization.
Myth 1: You should not brush baby’s teeth at least till the age of 2 years
Myth 2: Milk teeth are just temporary and do not need to be cleaned often as cavities in the baby teeth do not matter
Myth 3: There is no need to visit a dentist until the kid is a little older
Myth 4: Just sweets cause cavities and we are not giving any sweets, so no cavities can occur.
Brushing of the baby’s teeth should start as soon as the first tooth erupts in the baby’s mouth and should never be delayed.
Every tooth that has erupted in the child’s mouth is as important as the next tooth that will be erupting soon. Also it is as important as the permanent teeth the kid will eventually have. The milk teeth serve very important purpose for child’s health, speech, confidence and appearance. So, it is very important to help the child preserve all of them all through the childhood.
In fact the cleaning of child’s gums and tongue should start immediately after the birth of the child. You can use either a silicone finger brush or a soft moist clean cotton cloth wrapped around your finger. The milk that deposits on the surface of the gums and the tongue is not good, and can cause various infections.
Why is brushing important for kids?
1. Brushing of kids teeth help prevent cavities which are difficult to treat as the kid might not be co operative.
2. It helps prevent bad breath which might be there due to all the food and the milk that might be accumulating in the child’s mouth.
3. Starting to brush early helps in the developing the habit and it is not difficult to get the child use to it when he or she grows up.
4. During brushing the parent can easily get to know if there is any cavity which has started to develop as otherwise it might get missed.
5. It also gives a sense of freshness.
How to brush your child’s teeth?
- Chose a kids age appropriate soft toothbrush, you can also start with a silicone finger brush.
- After the age of 6 months you can start using a grain size of kids age appropriate toothpaste till the age of 3 years and a pea size after the age of 3 years.
- Keep your brush at a 45 Degree angle on the gum line of the last teeth and bring the brush downwards, repeat the same for all the teeth and remember to clean both the inside and the outside of the teeth.
- You can also brush in a simple circular motion.
- Remember to brush twice daily for 2 minutes each.
- Change the toothbrush after every 3-4 months
- Do not give anything sweets or sticky food to eat after brushing the teeth.
Which toothpaste should I use for my kid?
You can use any age appropriate fluoridated toothpaste to clean the teeth of your baby. Most of the parents are worried about kids swallowing the toothpaste. If an appropriate amount of the toothpaste is used there is no harm even if the child swallows it. Use a rice grain size of toothpaste for kids till the age of 3 years and the size of pea after the age of 3 years. The amount of fluoride in fluoridated toothpaste is very less which is not harmful even if kid swallows it. e.g. Colgate Kids, Cheerio, Kidodent etc.
The permanent teeth start erupting by the age of 6 years but the full set of the permanent teeth will erupt only by the age of 12 years and so it is very important to preserve the baby teeth till then. Do not believe in any myths and start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts in the baby’s mouth.