Never underestimate the role of baby teeth!
They are undoubtedly temporary but essential for the child's development. Here are the rules of oral hygiene to adopt to take care of this first dentition.
The essential role of baby teeth
Baby teeth gradually grow between 6 months and 2 and a half years. There are 20 of them, distributed as follows:
- 8 incisors
- 4 canines
- 8 molars
These teeth are temporary but important for the development of the child, both for his speech when he learns to speak and for good chewing. It is essential to take care of them because they also predetermine the health of the permanent teeth and their alignment. The latter appears when baby teeth fall out, usually between 5 and 11 years old.
What hygiene rules to adopt?
Baby teeth have less mineralized and finer enamel, which makes them less resistant to infections. It is therefore important to follow these few rules to prevent cavities and gum problems:
- Healthy eating: avoid sugary juices and sweets, soft drinks, chocolates, etc., which make the mouth a nest for bacteria, causing cavities and gum infections. And pay attention to the bottle before going to sleep: this bad habit causes the child to fall asleep directly afterwards, without the evening brushing, which is the most important.
- Good oral hygiene: before the appearance of the first tooth, you must clean the baby's gums with a clean, damp cloth, exclusively dedicated to dental health. When the first tooth is there, around 6 months, you can brush it delicately after each meal with a soft moistened brush that you will also pass on the gums. Later, as good reflexes are acquired from an early age, brushing should be done at least twice a day for 2 minutes, with a soft toothbrush and a tiny bit of full fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities. Make sure he can spit out the toothpaste. Better to supervise brushing until it becomes a routine well mastered and integrated by the child (around 7 years old on average).
- A regular visit to the dentist: once a year, a visit to the dentist is required. But before his first visit, you can check your child's teeth yourself: if you notice small white spots or a tarnished enamel, it means that cavities are on the way! Early childhood cavities usually appear after 5 years of age. They must be treated very quickly so as not to cause pain or interfere with the child's diet and sleep.
In addition to these basic rules, here are a few more tips:
- Never share your baby's toothbrush and let him dry his head upstairs in a separate glass so that he does not rub shoulders with other toothbrushes.
- In the same way, the adult saliva is full of bacteria likely to alter its fragile oral hygiene, so remember not to chew food before giving it