Young children do not have the manual dexterity to brush and floss their teeth on their own. Therefore, you must take a toothbrush to their teeth at least twice a day. When my kids were small, I would sit down in the bathroom and have them lay their heads back into my lap. That gave me plenty of access to all of their teeth. It would only take a half a minute to scrub their pearly whites. As they got older, I could have them tilt their heads back from the standing position. Once the last set of baby molars come in, you must start flossing their teeth. You only need to floss between the molars since those areas are prone to decay and will be around for number of years. You can use regular floss or you can use a floss-pick, the little “U”-shaped device that holds a short piece of floss taut and has a handle to hold on to. For children, it is best to get the floss-pick that have safety handles so that there are no sharp ends to injure your child.
Teething is when teeth are erupting through the gums and the symptoms associated with it. There are many myths on all of the maladies that teething will cause, most being totally untrue. Surely the teething infant can get a little fussy because the gums do get sore, but it doesn’t cause fever, nasal congestion, diarrhea, etc. It is best to avoid all of the drug store teething preparations. Local anesthetics should not be used because they have too much difficulty with proper dosing. Too much benzocaine or lidocaine can cause seizures and in severe cases, death. The best thing to use for teething discomfort is a rubber teething ring that can be place in the refrigerator. It is thought that cool pressure placed over the gums can be soothing. In cases where an analgesic is needed, be certain to carefully follow the dosing instructions since infants are tiny and susceptible to overdosing.