Simple tips to keep your baby’s teeth shiny and healthy

Innocence smile of babies with white small teeth – he conquers the whole world with this universal language of love. But damages in teeth can kill the beauty of his smile. If precautions are not taken, milk teeth can be affected with many dental issues at a very young age. Colour change can also occur. There is a myth among common man that, as milk teeth are here to lose today or tomorrow, proper dental care is not needed at younger ages. But it’s totally wrong.

From 6 months to 12 years, milk tooth, also known as primary teeth helps him to chew food, and play a significant role in the development of jaw bones and face giving a proper shape to face and mouth. Health of milk tooth is deeply linked to the formation and proper development of permanent teeth in kids.

When a child is born, his teeth are not visible. So we may believe that a baby is born without teeth. But it’s not the true case. Teeth are present in his gum, and it comes out normally when he reaches 6 months or more. Sometimes it may take up to 1 year. In the next 2 years, 20 milk teeth will be visible. Some of the common dental problems in young babies are related to nursing bottle caries, dental caries or tooth decay, dislocated teeth or row of teeth, breaking of teeth when he falls or slips, yellow coloured teeth etc.

Nursing bottle caries

It happens in infants and is a form of tooth decay. Caries start with yellow patches in tooth. If mouth and teeth are not properly cleaned soon after breast feeding or bottle feeding or juices, caries may occur. It affects the teeth in the front row, visible from outside. If he has the habit to drink milk during sleep, discontinue this habit when he reaches one. You can clean his mouth, teeth and gum using a moist cloth or cotton soon after every feed.

When he reaches 4 months or 6, you can give him solid food. For dental health, you can give him porridge without adding sugar or sweetness. Never add extra sugar while giving him fruit juices. 

Tooth decay in kids

It’s very common in kids, soon after he stopped breast feeding. If proper treatment is given early, future complications can be avoided. If the tooth decay deeply affects the root of teeth, root canaling could be the only alternative. For the healthy growth of teeth, problems related to wisdom teeth should be rectified as early as possible.

When he reaches 3 or 4, teeth damages in the front row can kill his self-confidence. He may feel reluctant to mingle with others. Such teeth damages may result in plaques and tooth pain, and he may feel difficult to proper chewing of food taken. It may lead to less consumption of food, and end result is malnutrition and many other health issues. You should never neglect white or black patches in his teeth, tooth pain, sourness or bleeding gum while brushing, and consult a dentist as early as possible. You can give him less sweets and also sticking sweets like bubble gum which can affect his teeth health. The continuous use of carbonated drinks can result in the loss of enamel and sourness of teeth is the end result. Very often such issues cannot be restored naturally.

Yellow tooth is yet another problem seen in kids. Dental hygiene is so much important, and if not given due importance, the dirt of teeth can gradually add a yellow tint to tooth. Lack of calcium can also reduce the colour of tooth.

Alternation of teeth structure

There is a small gap between milk teeth in kids. This gap is natural, and will be filled completely when temporary teeth replace the milk teeth. It happens between 6 months and 12 years, and dislocated teeth are visible during this time period too. When small milk teeth are replaced with big permanent teeth, some parents may go restless. If dislocation occurs at this stage, just wait and watch. No dental treatment is required at this age. When big teeth completely conquer the space, the child’s smile may loss a little bit innocence, and he looks more mature. As tooth is one among the human organs which never grow, the replaced tooth gives perfect shape to your mouth when he turns an adult. So, no need to worry. In short, though teeth structure may not be pretty in his teens, as he grows up, the defects get corrected automatically.

Loss of teeth when kid falls

When he starts walking, he may fall frequently. It’s common. But it can cause damages to gum and teeth too. Broken teeth, teeth loss, teeth going inside the gum, dislocation of teeth, wounds in gums and lips etc are quite common. If he loses his teeth or such falls cause severe damage to teeth or gum, consult a dentist and take an X-ray if needed. If only needed, further treatment can be taken. Though treatment is not needed, you can observe it closely as the child grows.

In some rare cases, such teeth damages can block blood circulation to teeth’s root resulting in slight change of colour shades. If the kid losses his milk teeth fully, there is no need for deep worries. If a temporary tooth has gone due to some accident, keep the lost teeth in coconut water and milk, and reach dentist as early as possible. He may able to fix it again. Broken tooth can be fixed using artificial enamel, and in some cases root canaling may be needed.

When to start brushing in kids?

Use finger brush soon after his teeth is visible outside. Do it on regular basis for proper dental health. When he learns to split, start using toothpaste. But take care, he should never swallow toothpaste. He needs only a little amount of tooth paste, equal to that of a food grain. Also buy brush which suits his age. White paste with less foam and less use of chemicals is apt for small kids.

How to brush?

Slightly tilt the brush in the area where teeth joins with gum. Brush from gum towards teeth. Use the same procedure to brush the upper and inner surface of teeth. The chewing areas of mouth should be brushed inwards and backwards. Use the brush to clean tongue also. Replace toothbrush once in every three months.

For beautiful teeth

To get healthy and beautiful permanent teeth, necessary steps are to be taken at infant stage itself, where milk teeth are properly cleaned and maintained. Certain habits seen in kids such as thumb sucking and thrusting tongue can later affect the teeth structure. Treatments are available to rectify all these defects. Consult pediatrician and dentist to correct those problems at the time of need.

In some rare cases, kids are born with teeth. But they are not strong. For the same reason, while breast feeding, they can go inside the gum. It can also give difficulties while breast feeding. So, better idea is to remove the teeth as early as possible, strictly with the guidance of a doctor. It never give rise to problems in the growth or development of milk teeth.

Dental care should be started at gestation period

Dental health of a baby is the reflection of his mother’s health during gestation period. She should also keep proper dental care during this period. If she has gum problems, premature delivery can happen, and the child may be born with less weight too. Bacteria causing dental problems in mother can spread to her newborn kid too. Development of all milk teeth and permanent teeth partially take place during the gestation period itself. For the same reason, she should include components such as calcium and phosphorous in the daily diet. Deficiency of these elements in her daily diet may be visible in her child’s teeth as white patches. Lack of supply of calcium during pregnancy period can also delay the process of teeth formation too. Giving calcium tablets to mother after child birth is not effective in this case.

Image source: Pixabay  

Also read a few more articles related to child diseases and treatments. Click on the images in the gallery to read

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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