HEALTHY BABY TEETH Did You Know…? Though it may not exactly be a widely-recognized fact, it is true that a child’s dental development actually begins during pregnancy. This is why it is quite essential for pregnant women to take adequate care of their health and eat healthy meals during pregnancy. Pregnant women should also endeavor to visit the dentist during pregnancy to enhance their oral health and that of their babies. THE GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF A CHILD’S TEETH. Your child’s first set of teeth will normally grow between the ages of six months to three years. Around 6, they begin to lose their milk teeth, and between 12 and 21, they grow their final permanent teeth. At 8 months of age, dentists are usually able to predict any major dental problems which may affect their new developing set of teeth, therefore routine visits to the dentist should begin as early as possible, and so that the child can familiarize himself with the family dentist. When is it most appropriate for a kid to visit a dentist for the first time? As soon as your child hits six months, you might want to schedule a visit to the dentist’s, and by age one, proactive dental care should begin. As a mom, you shouldn’t use a toothbrush or normal adult toothpaste (especially one containing fluoride) on your baby’s teeth, as both are harmful to their delicate dental structures. Instead, a soft moistened cloth is recommended for cleaning off all oral deposits to prevent early tooth decay. Helpful Tips 1. Prevent Sharing of Cutlery –Try as much as possible to avoid sharing your utensils with your little babies, as deposits from your own saliva might linger on these items and consequently, affect your child’s dental health. 2. Stop Bottle-feeding at Bedtime–Endeavour to quit the habit of putting your baby to sleep with his bottle. The contents of his food may cause gradual havoc to his delicate teeth if he continues to sleep with food in his mouth. 3. Feed your baby healthy food – Apart from aiding cognitive development and growth, a healthy, nutritious diet enriched with adequate vitamins and minerals will go a long way in improving and enhancing your baby’s dental health. 4. Cleaning your Youngster’s teeth. –At first, a soft cloth moistened with sterilized water will suffice to clean your baby’s gums and his first few teeth. As more teeth begin to emerge, you might want to consult your dentist for a healthy toothbrush and toothpaste recommendation. 5. Fluoride enhances the development and Maintenance of Dental Health –Once your baby hits one, you might want to consider using good fluoride toothpaste for brushing to preserve the strength and beauty of those adorable pearly whites. 6. Floss Regularly: – Start flossing your child’s teeth as soon as their teeth begin to touch each other. 7. Teach your Child how to maintain personal Oral hygiene – While it is important to religiously keep tabs on your little one’s oral hygiene, as soon as your child is three, you should begin to teach him how to appropriately brush his teeth. By the time he is four, he should have learnt to properly brush his teeth twice a day with minimal intervention.