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Taking care of baby teeth

 
They maybe just ‘baby teeth’ but they are more important than you might think! Starting your little one off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come and help prevent future problems such as interfering with their speech, self-image and general social functioning as they get older.
They maybe just ‘baby teeth’ but they are more important than you might think!

Starting your little one off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come and help prevent future problems such as interfering with their speech, self-image and general social functioning as they get older.

Baby teeth are only around for a short time but their health is essential to your baby's gums. They also hold space in their jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.

When a baby tooth is lost too early, your little one’s permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make their teeth crooked or crowded.
 

10 tips on taking care of baby teeth


1. Start gentle brushing when your little one's first baby tooth comes through their gums.

2. Use a soft, small-headed brush or finger brush and only the tiniest amount of fluoride toothpaste or natural toothpaste that has been approved for babies.

3. By having your little one sit or lie on your lap, both facing the same direction, you can get easy access to their mouth to help make it easier when you're brushing.

4. Once your baby is a little older you might like to brush their teeth in front of a mirror so they can see what you're doing. Stand next to or behind them while you are both facing the mirror, and reach around to brush their teeth.

5. Brush their teeth twice a day, morning and night, brush after breakfast in the morning and last thing at night. Try to brush for 2 minutes each time.

6. Dentists recommend to spit the toothpaste out after brushing and not to rinse your child’s mouth so that the toothpaste residue keeps fighting plaque overnight.

7. Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line and brush gently by moving the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes.

8. Your toddler may like to brush their teeth themselves but make sure you are with them to prevent choking and to ensure all teeth are being cleaned (outside, underneath and inside, upper and lower jaws).

9. Check your little one's brush regularly and replace it every 3 months or soon after the bristles start to wear out.
  
10. Try to enrol them at a school/community dental clinic before their first birthday. Early enrolment provides the best opportunity to meet your child's oral health needs. Contact your local DHB for more information.
 

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