Baby Teeth and Cavities
Yes, baby teeth can have tooth decay. Cleaning teeth should begin after the first ones appear in baby’s mouth. Adult supervision will be necessary until the child is around six or seven, but making sure the youngest of children knows the importance of good dental hygiene will protect not only their teeth, but also their general health.
Making sure baby teeth remain healthy until the permanent teeth replace them will ensure the best outcome for a healthy set of permanent teeth. Teeth must last a lifetime, but they don’t stand a chance if we don’t take care of them. Of course, regular checkups by Dr. Gehrig, a Family Dentistry Specialist in Fort Pierce will help you there. 🙂
Healthy Brushing and Cleaning Baby Teeth
When the teeth first appear, a gentle cleaning with a damp wash cloth will be the best recommended method of cleaning baby’s teeth. As the baby grows however, the toothbrush should be introduced and a very small amount of toothpaste should be used on a child size toothbrush. This really small amount in the beginning is about the size of a grain of rice. Later as the child grows, increase the amount of toothpaste to an amount about the size of a green pea.
By the time the child is six or seven, he or she should be able to properly brush his/her teeth with little supervision. Certainly, it is good practice to double check the results to make sure they are brushing long enough and in the correct way. Brush down on the top teeth and up on the bottom teeth.
Be sure your children brush their teeth twice per day and teach them to floss once each and every day. Flossing will remove the plaque and the food particles a toothbrush can’t reach.
Flouride and Brushing
Studies have demonstrated that children who have flouride in the water they drink are less likely to form cavities. Flouride occurs naturally in lakes and streams, but when drinking water is treated for human consumption the flouride is removed along with the harmful components. Many municipal water companies add flouride back into the drinking water supply, but some do not. Flouride helps make the enamel on teeth stronger and resistant to cavities.
If your water company does not contain flouride, you should consider speaking with Dr. Gehrig about whether or not a flouride supplement would be advised. He will be happy to discuss this with you.
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