Baby Care

Answers To Questions Parents Often Ask About Their Child’s Dental Health

One of the delightsome milestones of your child’s growth is the sprouting of his teeth.

I remember how delighted I was when I saw the small white enamel peeping out of my child’s reddish gum.

Another amazing reality is that some babies are born with teeth. Many parents are concerned about their kid’s dental health, perhaps you fall into this category and you wonder how to look after your child’s first teeth here are answers to some of your frequently asked questions.

  1. “When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?”

You can start cleaning your baby’s gum with cotton wool and water to clean the milky residue in the mouth before the teeth come in and when they do too.

  1. How do I maintain hygiene at home?

The best way to maintain my baby’s dental hygiene at home is to keep things simple. For babies, a gauze and tap water is okay while toddlers should use a finger brush or other appropriate type of toothbrush with an age-appropriate toothpaste. Wash twice daily.

  1. ‘My child loves sweet, what do I do?’

Sweets are not good for your child’s teeth but the reality is that you cannot rule it out outrightly sweet intake should be minimized. If your child takes sweet, ensure that you brush his/ her mouth afterward.

  1. “Should my baby use fluoride toothpaste?

Although there are lots of information about the adverse effect of using fluoride toothpaste for your kids because of the fear of fluoride poisoning.  Parents should use toothpaste meant for the age of your child because the quantity of fluoride in a toothpaste varies with age.

  1. “How much toothpaste should I use for my child?”

The American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry recommends a ‘smear’ of fluoridated toothpaste for children less than 2 years and a ‘pea-size’ amount of toothpaste for kids aged 2-5 years.

  1. “What kind of toothbrush is best for my baby?”

There are different types of toothbrush for kids in the market. Go for the ones that are soft and easy to manipulate in the mouth.

  1. “Should I floss my child’s teeth?”

Ideally, flossing is good and should be done but the reality is that this may not work all the time. If your child is receptive to flossing then by all mean floss! This does not overrule flossing.  You can introduce it gradually from once to twice …However, if otherwise ensure that you brush his/her teeth twice daily.

   8. “What are the best foods for my baby’s teeth?”

Give your child good food that is rich in vitamin D and calcium. They are found in fish, dairy products, cheese, egg, leafy green vegetables etc.

  9. “Why should I clean my baby’s milk teeth if they’re going to fall out anyway?”

Some of the teeth stay in the mouth until when your child is 11 or 12 years old. If you do not care for your child’s teeth, the teeth could be lost due to decay, which can affect your child’s speech, eating ability and teeth arrangements.

  10.“My child really hates brushing her teeth. What can I do?”

Almost all parents present this complaint but the reality is that brushing your child’s teeth is the right thing to do no matter how they protest against it. Your kids rely on you to do right by them, so stand your ground and with time, they will develop the habit of brushing their teeth.

  11. “When should I schedule my baby’s first dental appointment and how often should her dental appointments be?”

In Nigeria, a baby dental visit is not the norm but it is good to take your child to see the dentist at least at age one so the dentist can check and assess your level of care and recommend appropriate dental care and detect any dental anomaly.

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8 Symptoms That Show When Baby Starts Teething

When it comes to teething, babies start at different ages and to be able to better cope with everything that comes with teething, it’s important that parents familiarize themselves with baby teething symptoms so it can be easier on them.

And here are the 8 symptoms of teething in babies;

1. Excessive drooling

Excessive drooling is one of the first symptoms of teething, the incoming teeth will stimulate the gum, then the water will pour. A lot of towels and bibs will come handy. Diarrhea and loose stools may follow excessive drooling.

2. Baby starts biting

Babies will bite anything they can put their mouth on, this is because of the pressure on their gum. Toys, teethers, and even their mother’s nipple is not exempted.

3. Baby cries in pain

Inflamed gum can make teething painful which will cause babies to be uncomfortable. Your baby might cry in pain and be extra fussy, just bear with them.

4. Bleeding gum

Their gum might bleed, this is called hematoma. The bleeding takes place under the gum. Watch out for a bluish lump on your baby’s gum, although it’s no cause for alarm.

5. Refusing food

Some babies are more sensitive than others in the way they feel and respond to pain, they might even refuse to eat. Feeding will be quite difficult for them when teething. Do not stop forcing food on their throat though.

6. Fever 

Fever is also another common symptom of teething, but it’s low-grade fever which is no cause for alarm or worrying. But if it lasts more than 3 days and it’s high, consult your doctor.

7. Diarrhoea 

Babies sometimes suffer diarrhea when teething, this may or may not be as a result of the large amount of drool they swallow but if it’s extreme, consult your doctor immediately to rule out other possibilities.

8. Cheek rubbing 

Your baby might rub her cheek from time to time, this is because often times, the pain from teeth may radiate to the cheeks thus her to rub the cheek and soothe the pain. Although, this might also be a symptom of an ear infection so watch out.

Finally, you can conduct a test if you suspect that your child is teething, wash your fingers, then with one clean finger rub your baby’s gum, if a tooth is on it’s way, you’ll feel it. Meanwhile, rashes, sleeplessness, and coughing are other symptoms of teething. If any of these symptoms are in the extreme, check with your doctor.

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