The importance of proper oral care cannot be overstated, especially when it comes to babies. The health of the teeth and gums of the crumbs, including those teeth that have not yet erupted, directly depends on competent oral hygiene.
When to start hygiene procedures, and what will you indispensable?
When it is necessary to start brushing the tongue and teeth of a child – we determine with age in terms of oral hygiene
As you know, bacteria in the oral cavity can multiply in a completely toothless mouth, therefore, parents should raise oral hygiene issues much earlier than they erupt and the more the first teeth grow.
- For a child under 6 months of ageof course, nothing needs to be cleaned. It is enough to wipe the tongue, gums and mouth with clean gauze wrapped around your finger.
- After the appearance of the first teeth (from 6-7 months) – again, we wipe the gums with gauze.
- Further, from 10 months, there is a silicone fingertip, which is used to clean the already strengthened first teeth twice a day. You can even use a paste, but – without fluoride.
- Well, and the next stage (from 12 months) – this is the transition to a children’s toothbrush.
- From 3 years old the child should already be able to use the brush independently.
How to teach a child 0-3 years old to brush their teeth – instructions for teaching a baby to regular oral hygiene
Oral hygiene during the teething period of a child
Each baby has its own time for the first teething teeth. For one, this happens as early as 4 months, for another – only after 7, or even by 1 year of life.
Is it necessary to clean barely erupted teeth, and how to care for the oral cavity during this delicate period?
The basic rules of hygiene for the period of teething are reduced to simple recommendations that will allow you to relieve the pain of the little one – and prevent infection:
- Remove saliva regularly with a clean absorbent cloth / towel to avoid irritation on the child’s face.
- Be sure to give your child items that you can chew… Naturally, clean (before use, disinfect, pour over with boiling water).
- We do not use teething rings with liquid inside (note – they can burst) and frozen in the freezer (they can damage the gums). For the desired effect, it is enough to hold the rings in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Types of teethers for a newborn – how to choose?
- Massage the gum crumbs with a clean finger.
- Be sure to wipe the gums and mouth after eating with gauze dipped in a solution with anti-inflammatory properties. It is recommended to consult a doctor regarding the choice of such a remedy.
Remember that during the period of teething, there is a decrease in local immunity in the crumbs – and therefore, an increase in the risk of “catching” an infection.
The gums are already inflamed these days, so do not abuse additional manipulations that can lead to painful sensations for the baby.
The first toothbrushes, toothpastes – what is necessary for cleaning the teeth and oral cavity of a small child
For each age category – its own tools for oral hygiene.
In addition, both the means and technologies can change depending on whether the baby has milk teeth – or has already begun to replace them with permanent ones.
- Up to 1 year to clean the gums and first teeth, use a silicone fingertip.
- After 1 year twice a day, it is recommended to brush the teeth with a special children’s brush with a stopper on the handle (preventing injury) and rubber fibers.
- When a large number of teeth appear and the formation of interdental spaces is no longer possible without a high-quality soft-bristled brush designed for children.
Types of toothbrushes by shape, material, softness of bristles, etc., their pros and cons
Of course, you can just look at the labeling of the packaging in the store – but, as a rule, the manufacturer’s recommendations are very extensive (“from 1 to 7 years”), so it is better to choose a brush for your child individually.
Fingertip for cleaning gums and first teeth – the first toddler’s toothbrush
The first child’s toothbrush is usually a fingertip, which is a silicone “cap” with a soft silicone bristle that is put on the mother’s finger.
This brush will not scratch children’s delicate gums, improve blood circulation and provide an easy gum massage.
There are no dangerous components in fingertips, and it is easier to take care of them.
The recommended age for using fingertips is 4-10 months. But you should not get carried away with the use of this tool during the teething period.
What do you need to know?
- The wear of the brush occurs in 1-2 months due to active itching of the gums in babies at this age.
- The brush should be changed according to the instructions. And not only for hygienic reasons, but also because of the risk of getting pieces of silicone from the brush into the respiratory tract.
- At the slightest sign of impaired brush integrity, it should be replaced with a new one.
- The duration of brushing with a fingertip is longer than that of standard brushing: overall, the procedure takes about 4 minutes.
Criteria for choosing the first brush for baby teeth
Children’s first toothbrush is more than just a flashy toothbrush with a toy on a cap and a suction cup.
First of all, the brush must meet all the requirements for this item – considering that a small child will use it.
So, the main selection criteria:
- High quality plastic (ask the seller for a certificate).
- Rigidity. For your first brush, choose the softest or ultra-soft bristles. Medium-hard bristles will be needed from the age of 3.
- Natural or synthetic? It is highly discouraged to choose a brush with natural bristles for a child – it is much inferior to the synthetic version in terms of wear resistance and the rate of growth of bacteria on the surface. Natural bristles allow bacteria to multiply very quickly, and regular sterilization quickly deteriorates the brush. Among the novelties of recent years, one can distinguish bamboo bristles. Its service life is only 1 year, and without good drying, fungus quickly forms on the brush. And one more option – silicone bristles, but this option is suitable only for periods “to the teeth” and for the period of teething (up to 1 year). Synthetic bristles remain ideal.
- Length of bristles. For babies over 1 year old, its length should be about 11 mm. However, you can also choose a multi-level bristle with a V-shaped arrangement of synthetic bristles for ideal cleaning of rare teeth with serious gaps.
- Pen. It must have rubber anti-slip inserts and a flexible connection to the head. As for the length, the handle should not be too long, but it should still be optimal for the child’s cam. From 2-5 years old, the handle length can reach 15 cm.
- Head size. For a one-year-old baby, the size of the brush head should not exceed 15 mm. And to find your way more accurately, look into the little one’s mouth: the length of the brush head should be equal to the length of 2-3 baby’s teeth. From 2 years old, you can look for a brush with a head up to 20 mm. The shape of the brush head must be streamlined and smooth (so that there are no corners, burrs and scratches).
- The presence of a rubber brush for the baby tongue on the back of the brush.
- As for the design – it all depends on the mother and the baby himself. Let him choose the design of the brush himself – then you will not have to persuade the child to brush his teeth.
Electric toothbrush for kids – worth it or not?
Today manufacturers offer electric brushes for babies from one year old.
What do you need to know about them?
- The optimal age for a child to use such a brush is over 5 years old. Otherwise, the procedure will become a serious burden for a small child’s hand (the brush is quite heavy).
- Under the age of 5 it is not recommended to use this brush more than once a week in order to avoid injury to the enamel.
How to choose the right toothpaste for baby teeth?
An illiterately chosen paste can greatly harm the health of the crumbs in general – and his teeth in particular.
What to focus on?
- For babies up to 3 years old. Pastes for this age should not contain fluoride at all.
- For kids 3-4 years old. The content of fluorine in pastes should not exceed 200 ppm, and abrasive (approx. – RDA) – 20 units. There must be an inscription about the safety of the paste when swallowing it (as for any paste “from 0 to 4”).
- For kids 4-8 years old. In these pastes, the abrasiveness can reach 50 units, and the fluoride content is 500 ppm (but no more!). The paste may have anti-inflammatory properties and contain appropriate herbal ingredients. From the age of 6, you can add dental floss to the toothbrush, which also needs to be taught to the baby to use.
- For children 8-14 years old. These pastes can already contain up to 1400 ppm of fluorine, but abrasive – no more than 50.
- From the age of 14 children can already use traditional varieties of adult toothpaste.
Components of children’s toothpastes: what else do you need to know about children’s toothpastes?
- Titanium dioxide or silicon dioxide can be used as abrasives, which act softer on enamel in comparison with calcium and sodium carbonate.
- Pass by baby pastes with antibacterial additives such as chlorhexidine, triclosan or metronidazole.
- As for the foaming component, it is better to choose a paste without it at all – SLS (sulfates) are harmful even for an adult body. Among the sulfate-free toothpastes, one can note the brands Weleda, Rocks, Splat, Natura Siberica, etc.
- Only natural ingredients – pectins – should be used as thickeners.
Does my child need a mouthwash?
Should or shouldn’t it be worth buying a mouthwash for a small child?
This tool will be very useful and effective if …
- The child has already reached the age of 6.
- The child knows how to rinse his mouth and spit out the contents so as not to swallow any liquid in the mouth accidentally.
- The rinse aid contains no harmful components.
- The mouthwash is used for its intended purpose (for caries, for fresh breath, etc.).
- The procedure time does not exceed 30 seconds twice a day.
If you need more advice but do not know who to reach out to, you can do a quick internet search for a phrase like “dentist near me stafford” and it should provide a list of experts that you can get in touch with.
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