Oral Hygiene for Children
Preventing dental disease in children doesn’t have to be a nightmarish experience for you and your child. Here you will find valuable information on why brushing and flossing daily is so important for your little one’s health and wellness plus, you will learn how to make this task not only easier, but enjoyable at the same time.
Babies require daily dental hygiene care in order to prevent mouth irritation and tooth decay. When you take the time to develop good brushing and flossing habits from an early age, it will make this often monotonous task part of their daily routine; for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
The Beginnings of Oral Health Care
Dental hygiene should begin shortly after a child is born. After every feeding a clean, warm wash cloth should be used to gently cleanse the inside of the mouth. Thrush, a treatable fungal infection caused by Candida (yeast), often appears in areas of the mouth that may have torn tissue, caused by the constant sucking on a pacifier, bottle, or during breastfeeding. The tiny tears remain moist and, if not removed manually, the yeast may cause the painful condition. Signs of thrush include:
- White patches that appear to coat the tongue, inside tissue of the cheek, and gums
- Irregular-shaped patches that are not able to be wiped away, sticking to the tissue
- Pain when feeding or using a pacifier
If left untreated, a nursing mother may develop thrush on her breast, although is not typically considered contagious. See your doctor or dentist and he may prescribe a medication to clear up the infection.
Such Small Teeth
Teething can begins around 3 months old but typically begins when your child is 6 to 7 months old. Signs of teething may include:
- Excessive drooling
- “Gumming” or biting
- Appearance of a rash around the mouth, or on the face
- Decrease in appetite
- Excessive crying
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in bowel movements
Help ease the pain of teething by using a clean, cool washcloth to gently massage the gums. Offer the child a cool teething ring or a teething biscuit, if that is appropriate for the age of the child. Always supervise your child when using a teething biscuit because of the potential choking hazard. Talk to your doctor or dentist before using over-the-counter pain reducers or desensitizing gel.
If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment, give your Minnesota Family Dentistry a call.