The most common misconception concerning primary (baby) teeth is that even if they get dental caries, it’s not a problem as they will be replaced later on as your child grows.
However, having dental cavities at an early age means the growth and spread of germs from the decayed tooth to the healthy teeth, and this will increase the risk of healthy teeth getting caries.
Baby teeth, that usually appear between 6 months and 1 year of age, are as important as permanent teeth. They help children chew and pronounce words; as well as make space in your child’s jaw for the permanent teeth which are developing under his gums.
Tips for taking care of your child’s teeth:
- Nutritious diet rich in calcium and phosphorous: Make sure that your child is consuming enough calcium and phosphorous on a daily basis by eating at least three servings of milk and dairy products daily
- Organising quantity and quality of meals: Serve your child three balanced meals consisting of healthy foods, and one or two healthy snacks. Avoid foods that are harmful to the teeth like sweets and sticky foods like caramel and nougat which encourage the growth of bacteria and tooth decay
- Brushing teeth regularly: Encourage your child to brush his teeth twice daily (after breakfast and before going to sleep)
- Regular visits to the paediatric dentist: When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time? The first visit to the paediatric dentist should be six months after the first tooth appears that is close to your child’s first birthday. The doctor will check his teeth health and show you how you should clean them.
When do you start brushing your child’s teeth?
As soon as your baby’s first teeth appear, you should start brushing them with a soft brush and water. On the other hand, using toothpaste should begin at two years. You should supervise your child and direct him to use a limited amount of toothpaste, which is the size of a lentil.
(This article is developed by the NIDO® Child Development Expert Panel)