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That adorable moment when you see your child’s first teeth coming in and the excitement with which they say “Oh, look ma! My tooth is shaking!” Every parent remembers it. A child’s dental hygiene is as important as the hygiene maintained for different parts of the body.

A mouth with bad odor or teeth that are decaying because of excessive sweet consumption is definitely not a pleasant sight to see. It is important for you to keep your child’s mouth and teeth clean.

Here’s how to maintain your child’s dental hygiene.

1. Visit a dentist

Your child needs to see a dentist even before his/her first birthday. By this time, there will be teeth growing through the gums. "The sooner, the better", they say. This is because your child’s teeth are still in the process of growing.

The dentist will be able to have an oral examination, through which they can keep a track of the growth pattern of the teeth. The dentist will also be in a position to tell the parents about the ways of brushing and the kind of brush to be used. The onset of cavities and plaque can also be prevented if you take your child to the dentist.

2. Teach brushing ethics

Brushing should be mandatory, and should start as soo as you notice the tooth growth spurt through the gums. When you notice the onset of teeth, you can take a damp cloth and wipe the mouth and the gums gently without hurting your child. As time goes, you can use a soft toothbrush specially designed for babies and toddlers.

Once the teeth become prominent and stronger, use a brush that is designed exclusively for kids who have crossed toddlerhood. They are much smaller in size and need only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. You are supposed to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, as it is good for your child's teeth. So, the next time you’re buying a toothpaste for your child, find out if it can be swallowed.

Get your child to brush at least twice a day. It promotes dental hygiene.

3. Reduce the intake of juice

Although it is really good for health, juice is known to cause tooth decay. If the mouth isn’t rinsed properly, the juice stays inside. It creates a doorway for bacteria to act on it, therefore causing toothache and later, tooth decay.

4. Stop using feeding bottles or sippy cups

Once your infant's teeth start growing, you need to stop feeding them using bottles. It increases the chances of having tooth decay. Sweet drinks like milk, juice or even formulas should never be given to your infant because the remains might linger around for a long time, resulting in bacterial infections and tooth decay.

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