In this segment of Baby Blitz we’ll be talking about about the baby teeth!

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Hello Facebook family, and welcome to our third installment of baby Blitz, Facebook Live. My name is Dr. Joye Warr and I’m a pediatric dentist in High Point, North Carolina. I’m here to tell you a little bit more about your children’s teeth. Now for the last three weeks, we’ve been highlighting infant dental care or taking care of baby teeth.

That’s right, baby teeth are important. For the first week we talked about why our baby teeth are important, baby teeth are important because children need to eat. And because of aesthetics. Also because the function, remember that the baby teeth allow the jaws to grow the way that they should, they allow the spacing on their teeth in their jaws, allow for their adult teeth to come in, and all that kind of thing. So, baby teeth are important. They’re not disposable teeth, they’re not teeth that you can just kind of let them go and then you take care of their adult teeth. Baby teeth are a training wheel, if you will, for the adult teeth. If you teach your children to take care of their baby teeth, then they’ll take care of the adult teeth as well.

So, that’s what we talked about the first week.

The second time, we talked about how to take care of the baby teeth. In other words, remember that not all baby teeth come out at the same time. So, the rule of thumb is that eight baby teeth come out before your child is about eight years old. And then they’re going to lose another 12, before they’re 12 years old. So, all baby teeth don’t come out at six. And some of them won’t come out until your child is maybe between 10 and 12, sometimes even 13. So, that’s why you got to take care of baby teeth, you got to make sure that you’re doing your due diligence and taking care of them.

Now today, we’re going to go a little bit further and telling you how to take care of them because we’re going to talk about how to use fluoride, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and all that kind of thing. So last time, I showed you the size of the toothbrush that you should use. Remember, when you’re brushing your baby’s teeth, there, there are a few different sizes that you can use, but you want to use the size that is smallest so it will fit into your child’s mouth.  You don’t want to use a toothbrush that’s too big, because then that defeats the purpose.

You’re not really doing what you’re supposed to be doing. So, you want to make sure that you use the right size brush, and then you want to make sure that you use the proper toothpaste.  It’s recommended that until your child can spit out all the toothpaste that you use a toothpaste safe to swallow. Now there are many out there, I don’t endorse anyone, it’s important that it is a fluoride free toothpaste. What’s important to know about that is that, um, toothpaste is not like detergent. Toothpaste doesn’t necessarily like help to remove the plaque. So, it’s important for you still to brush after your child once they’re using the toothpaste so it’s not like detergent. If you take detergent and kind of put it in the washer and kind of put a little agitation on it, then the dirt will go away.

But with children, you must make sure that you’re actually brushing the teeth. So, with or without toothpaste, the parents should go behind the child. They should also make sure that they’re getting near the gum line so that your child can play with the toothbrush, which is what all 2-3-4 or five-year-old do. They kind of play with the toothbrush, they may suck the toothpaste off, but then it’s your turn to do your part. And that’s the best way to keep them playing. Also, don’t forget that any teeth that touch, you should floss them. So, make sure that you’re flossing any teeth that touch. The other thing you should know about fluoride and toothpaste and all that kind of thing is that unless your child has defects or unless your child has weak to structure, something they don’t necessarily need any more fluoride than what’s already in your water source or what they get at your dentist, their dentist or their pediatrician.

So, you should make sure that you don’t have to use the fluoride, the fluoridated nursery water, unless it’s prescribed by your pediatric dentist or your pediatrician. So, check with them to make sure that you’re doing the right thing. Because remember, fluoride is good, but too much fluoride is just as bad as not enough.

So, you don’t want your child to have too much fluoride. If your pediatric dentist thought or your pediatrician thought that your child would need extra fluoride, they would dispense you something for your child that your child could ingest and swallow a safer form. So, it’s not necessary to eat a whole bunch of fluoride toothpaste or anything like that. Remember, they can dispense you something like that.

So lastly, but not least, remember, every child should have a dental home by the age of one, that means that you should make an appointment for your one year old, even if they only have a few teeth. Remember, we don’t require them to kind of sit in the chair by themselves. But we want to make sure that you’re on the right page. So that first visit with your pediatric dentist is more for you than it is for your child, your child will get to brush their teeth, we’ll give them a fluoride treatment. We’ll also look at their teeth, tell you areas and tips and give you hints about where you can brush and how you should brush and all that kind of thing.

Studies show that the earlier kids go to the dentist, the less cavities they have, the less afraid they are to go, and the less money that you spend. So, bring them in for their first visit. Many pediatric offices offer that first visit for free. So, check with your pediatric dentist, and let them know that you want to get your infant signed up and you make sure that you get in there and get them started on a great path to dental health.

Now, there’s one other picture that I want to show you and I want to save it to last because I don’t know how it’s going to come up. But this picture is the picture of how much toothpaste you should use. And this is not only with infants, but with children. Can you see that little bit that’s on that toothbrush there?

So, no, you don’t have to use that much. Even when it comes to your toddlers, your five and your six year, seven-year-old, you don’t have to use that much toothpaste but just a little dab will do it. So, a tube toothpaste should last you a little while. But that’s all that I have for today. Please join me again. We’ll be talking again on November 19. This is our baby Blitz. We’re going to be talking about infant dental health.

So, tell your friends. Please pass this on if you don’t have children, please give it to someone who does and show them that they can take care of their children’s teeth early.

So, thank you so much for joining me. I hope that you guys are staying safe. Talk to you later. Bye