The breast-feeding is the best choice. The mother’s milk contains all the qualitative and quantitative nutrients necessary to the development of your child, and the benefits for his immune system and the good development of his mouth, are acknowledged.
The twenty baby teeth of your child develop mainly during the pregnancy. At the birth, they are thus partially or entirely formed and calcified under the gum.
Cutting of teeth
The cutting of teeth starts approximately at the age of six months, sometimes before and sometimes a few months later. For some children, this stage passes unnoticed, but for other children, it involves pains, refusal to eat, and sometimes temperature. These symptoms may be accompanied by tears, diarrhoea, red blotches of the face, diaper rash, or nasal flow. During this period, the children salivate abundantly and carry their fist into the mouth. A teething ring or a wet and fresh towel can relieve them. A light circular motion carried out on the gum, using a small brush with supple bristles, can contribute to stimulate blood circulation and soften the gum.
Finally, if your baby suffers too much, you can give him paracetamol.
- The syrups don’t have the expected relieving effect, and they contain sugar
- The gels which numb the gum, may be swallowed by the baby and cause numbness of the throat, or harm swallowing and digestion
- The raw carrots and celeries may provoke suffocation.
Clean the inner part of the mouth of the baby, using a small wet face flannel, in order to eliminate the deposits and bacteria which are there, while massaging gently the gums.
When the first tooth will have appeared, carry out a brushing twice a day, using a small brush with supple bristles, and a little of toothpaste (of the size of a grain of rice). Choose fluoride toothpaste, especially intended for the children. The toothbrush must be changed as soon as the bristles are curved. As micro-organisms may be at the bottom of the brush, between the bristles and at their base, the toothbrush which is contaminated must also be changed. (e.g.: high temperature, contagious disease, use of the brush by another child, contact with another brush, etc.).
The food given to the baby influences largely the formation of his permanent teeth; these ones are already in formation under his gum. Avoid sweetened drinks and limit the quantity of juice, because they favour an acid medium which is conducive to the tooth decay.
If your child must take drugs, after their ingestion it is better to rinse him the mouth and brush his teeth, because in their great majority these drugs have high sugar content.
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Sucking one’s thumb
Sucking one’s thumb is something normal for the babies. It is however necessary to take care that this habit ceases gradually before the cutting of the permanent teeth, in order to prevent a bad position of these teeth. Your dental hygienist will guide you and will help you to find solutions.
First visit to the dental hygienist
At one year of age, thus approximately six months after the cutting of the first tooth, a first consultation is advised. You will be informed about the daily dental care; they will evaluate the oral development, the susceptibility to the decay, and the frequency of the subsequent visits.
Early childhood decay
We call early childhood decay, the decay which affects the children of less than five years of age.
It can develop to the child whose:
Teeth are not brushed twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
Food is too rich in sugar
A sweetened feeding-bottle is given to get him to sleep
Family history reveals a great susceptibility to the decay.
Check regularly the enamel appearance by raising the lip of your child. The first symptoms may be colourless enamel, or white and chalky spots. As this kind of decay may evolve rapidly, a consultation can prove to be necessary.