It’s easy to think that baby teeth aren’t important as they will be replaced by adult teeth. Decay in baby teeth can be painful, cause infection, and lead to problems eating and sleeping.
Maintaining a good bedtime routine is vital. A good night’s sleep helps young children learn and improves overall behaviour. It’s also a crucial time of the day for teeth, and protecting your child’s smile.
You can help your child start the day with a beautiful smile and protect their baby teeth from potential decay by following these steps:
- Children under 3 only need to use a smear of family fluoride toothpaste
- There is no need to wash away this toothpaste with water
- In the last hour before bed, only give your child breastmilk, unsweetened milk or plain water
- Using an open cup for drinks over from the age of one
- Replace a bottle with a favourite cuddly toy at bedtime
Nightly routines help your children to develop healthy habits – benefiting both mind and body. Throughout an evening there are several opportunities for you to establish routine with your child:
The hour before bed is known as a ‘golden’ hour for your child’s smile – the food and drink you give to your child in this child are crucial to their oral health. Between birth and one year, breast milk or ‘first milk’ infant formula is the best supper for your baby. From the age of one year, stick to breast milk, ‘first milk’ formula, unsweetened cow’s milk or plain water in the hours before bed. Babies can be encouraged to drink from an open free-flow cup when they begin eating solid food, usually around six months.
Bath time provides an ideal opportunity to introduce your child to a good oral hygiene routine. It may also help them to relax and fall asleep more quickly afterwards. You should begin brushing your baby or toddler’s teeth as soon as they emerge. Just a smear of family fluoride toothpaste is all you need for children under the age of three, and there is no need to rinse away with water.
At bed time, give your child a favourite soft toy for comfort in the place of a bottle. Take the time to read a calming bed time story, and ensure that the room isn’t too hot or too bright.
Unsure about your dental health? Call your nearest Synergy Dental Clinic and we’ll be happy to help.