Caring for your baby’s teeth

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Those cute little teeth are so adorable when they first start to appear in your baby’s mouth – but that also means it’s time to take care of them! How do you go about it?

We’ve teamed up with Children’s Panadol to provide you with lots of quick and helpful information covering many aspects of children’s health and development. We hope you’ll find them a great resource as you take care of your family every day.

The importance of first teeth

What many parents don’t realise is that emerging baby teeth need to be looked after as carefully as we look after our own teeth. They will need to last your child until they are five to 12 years of age. As well as their obvious importance for chewing and speaking, they help proper jaw development, and reserve the spaces for the permanent teeth to come through later. Dental decay can result in babies losing teeth as early as 12 months.

Tips for cleaning teeth

  • Start cleaning when teeth appear. Gently wipe with a clean damp cloth at bath time.
  • Progress to a small soft bristle toothbrush with water. (There are special brushes available for babies.)
  • Hold the baby sitting against you facing the bathroom mirror so they can see their teeth being cleaned.
  • Let your baby play with their toothbrush while they watch you brush your teeth. (It takes years for them to learn how to brush.)
  • Start using a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride children’s toothpaste only when they have learnt to spit things out from their mouth.
  • Limit the amount of sugary foods in their diet.

A condition called ‘nursing caries’ can result from allowing a baby to suck on a bottle of milk or sweetened juice for long periods during the day, or last thing at night. If a bedtime bottle is needed, use cooled boiled water instead (or cooled boiled water after the bedtime bottle of formula).

This is an excerpt from The First Five Years, which is a handy and easy to navigate book, specifically developed to help parents. It contains a comprehensive collection of practical parenting information and useful tips for your child’s first five years. If you’ve ever wanted a quick guide to refer to in the middle of the night, or to help you decide when it’s time to see a doctor, this is a resource which will help you on your way. You can view it online or download it for free at The First Five Years.

(This is a sponsored post for Children’s Panadol)

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