Children Oral Care: The First Year Explained
Children Oral Care: The First Year Explained
The moment your baby is born is one of the most important days of your life. It comes with great responsibilities and new experiences.
The first year of your child is filled with constant changes as toddlers grow up fast, and their mouths are not an exception. It does not take too long until the first teeth erupt. However, oral care should begin even before that.
It is often unclear what to do and expect during the first year of your children, especially regarding their oral care. Fortunately, FOSOO Kids cares for the oral health of your entire family and is looking forward to helping you through this new experience.
Therefore, in this article, we will explain everything you need to know about your children's oral care during their first year.
Protecting The Newborn Gums Before 6 Months
Children's gums have the vital function of helping latch to breast to feed. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the toddler gums healthy. Although they do not have any teeth until around 6 months, their gums can still be harmed, causing discomfort and pain and sometimes preventing them from feeding.
This can be easily prevented by just cleaning their gums to remove milk leftovers and bacteria that could cause an infection. Moreover, getting used to having their gums and mouth clean can help them develop good oral health habits in the future by being accustomed to an oral care routine.
How To Clean Toddler's Gums
Cleaning their gums is a simple process that only takes a few minutes and requires only a soft washcloth.
- Lay down your child over your lap. Make sure that his head is close to your chest and that both of you are comfortable. This position will help him feel safe.
- Open his mouth carefully. Keep in mind that toddlers cannot open their mouths as wide.
- Gently rub a soft and clean washcloth damped in freshwater over his gums, making sure to remove every food leftover.
This routine should be done twice a day: Once after feeding in the morning and before sleeping. You can also replace the washcloth with a piece of gauze or finger cots specially designed for it.
Teething At 6 Months
Once your child has turned 6 months, the first teeth will start to erupt. However, it is normal if it happens a bit earlier or later. This is the ideal moment to take your child to his first dentist checkup.
The first teeth to erupt will be the frontal teeth, beginning with central lower incisors at 6 months, followed by the central upper incisors at 8 months, lateral upper incisors at 9 months, and lastly, the lower lateral incisors at 10 months. If this order is altered, your child may require to wear braces in the future as it can be a sign of malocclusion developing. However, promptly assessing it can help reduce the orthodontic treatment time.
Therefore, your child should have 8 teeth in his mouth around the first year. Furthermore, it is essential to continue the oral care routine to protect these teeth, replacing the washcloth with a toothbrush.
Teething usually manifests with a series of symptoms. Some of them can cause discomfort to your child, such as:
- Excessive drooling
- Loss of appetite
- Irritability and restless sleep
- Swollen gums
- Biting on toys
- Rubbing and pulling on his ears.
These symptoms are relatively frequent. However, not every child manifests them all at once, and the amount of discomfort can vary between children.
In some cases, a blue bump can be seen around the gums where the tooth is erupting. This is called an eruption cyst and is a common condition that can occur sometimes. As it disappears on its own and usually does not cause discomfort, it is essential to not manipulate it.
How To Alleviate Teething Symptoms?
Stimulating the gums often help the children feel better, especially when using cold objects. The most common solutions include:
- Give your child a cold and damp face cloth to bite on.
- Massage the gums with your fingers using a washcloth.
- Give your child a teething toy.
- Give them a cold piece of fruit or vegetable to bite, such as Apple or carrot.
- Offer him cold blended food, such as fruit puree.
It is also essential to clean the drool with a soft cloth, as it can irritate the skin.
How To Clean Baby Teeth?
Keeping your children's baby teeth clean is vital as it will help them eat solid food. Moreover, they contribute to the correct develop the jaw bone and maintain the space for the permanent teeth to erupt.
- Put your child in the same position as when cleaning his gums.
- Gently brush his teeth using a kid’s toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Wipe the toothpaste off his mouth as most children cannot spit.
Using fluoride toothpaste will help your child’s teeth to grow healthy. However, it is essential to use one labeled for their age, as the recommended fluoride doses vary.
It is advised to use a portion of toothpaste as small as a grain of rice when brushing your child’s teeth until they are 3 years old.
Brushing must be done after breakfast and before going to sleep. Children’s teeth are vulnerable to a highly aggressive type of cavities called early childhood caries, often referred to as nursing caries. Usually, it occurs when the child goes to sleep without brushing or with a baby bottle in his mouth. Moreover, adding sugar to the formula and food increases the chance of developing this condition.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to brush your child’s teeth twice a day and avoid adding sugar to the diet.
Although a child cannot use an adult electric toothbrush, developing oral care habits early on can help make an easier transition from manual to electric. Once they are old enough, they will experience the benefits of a sonic clean toothbrush capable of maintaining perfect oral health.
Conclusively, a children's oral care routine should begin before they start teething. Cleaning their gums with a damp and soft washcloth is enough to maintain their mouth clean and free of harmful bacteria until the teeth erupt at 6 months.
Afterward, it is vital to use a kid toothbrush with little toothpaste. This will help them grow healthy with a shiny smile