A Parent's Guide To Keeping Their Toddlers' Gums Healthy

Posted on: 27 July 2016

Toddlers need healthy gums to provide a foundation for teeth once he/she is old enough. In most cases the baby's first tooth should begin breaking the gum line in approximately six months. You as a parent will do everything possible to ensure your child doesn't occupy the dentist's chair in future years except for dental checkups. Here are a few suggestions to give your child a head start in the process.

The Tooth's Cycle

Primary teeth are usually present by the time the child is three years old. By the age of six, they begin to fall out for adult/permanent teeth. If gaps are present in baby teeth, don't be alarmed because they are making room for the age of 13 when the adult teeth appear.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Babies are born without any harmful bacteria, but once the bacterium is present, the child is more likely to have cavities. Many teeth can be affected by the decay caused by a bottle, but it is usually the front teeth. It is advisable to avoid drinks that contain sugar or putting the baby to bed with a bottle. That includes natural sugar found in formula, milk, and fruit juices.

Don't Pass the Bacteria

Sometimes, a mother/father can be in a rush or not just considering the damage that can be caused by placing the baby's spoon/utensil in her mouth. The same is true of the pacifier because the mother is transmitting her saliva to the baby.

Streptococcus mutans are passed through the saliva. Approximately 37% of American parents have shared utensils as well as caregivers for children two or three years old. If the parent/caregiver had a problem with cavities, it is possible to pass it to the child.

Early Dental Visits: As soon as your child develops his/her first tooth; it is important to take a trip to the dentist's office. You can meet with a dental professional to show the child the entire process. Make it fun for the child by letting the child see it doesn't hurt you. Let the child receive one of the great gifts that many dentists offer. If by chance the dentist doesn't have a toy; give one to the assistant before the procedure. The child will associate the visit with fun and not trauma.

Introduce Brushing and Flossing

For the first twelve months, you can clean the baby's gums with a wet washcloth. You should use unfluoridated toothpaste for the child when the first tooth appears. You should use a pediatric/small toothbrush. You only need enough toothpaste to replicate the size of a grain of rice for children twelve to twenty-four months. If the dentist advises you to use fluoridated paste, don't place more than a smear of paste on the brush because the child shouldn't swallow it.

Flossing should begin between two and six years old or when the teeth begin the fit tightly together. By the age of ten, the child should be capable of the task alone.

These are some of the pointers that will help you keep your toddler's teeth clean and healthy. It is best to begin as soon as the teeth appear. Providing a bright smile for your child's future is one of the most important jobs to perform as a parent. For more information, contact a professional in children dentistry, like one from Lucky Kids Dental.