Dental Care for your baby
Taking Care of Your Baby’s Mouth and Future Teeth!
Congratulations on the arrival of your baby! To help prepare you for the arrival of your baby’s first tooth, just follow these guidelines and your baby will be on his or her way to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Caring for Gums
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears (erupts), his or her gums can benefit from your careful attention. After breast or bottle-feeding, wrap one finger with a clean, damp piece of gauze and gently rub it across your baby’s gum tissue. This practice both clears your little one’s mouth of any fragments of food and begins the process of building a good habit of daily oral hygiene.
Baby’s First Tooth
When the first teeth erupt, it’s time to start using a baby toothbrush. There are many options in children’s toothbrushes and other cleaning devices today. At this stage, toothpaste isn’t necessary. Just wetting the brush with water is sufficient. During the teething process, your child will want to chew on just about anything. Many teething accessories are on the market today. Feel free to contact us for advice.
Brushing with Toothpaste
When a few more teeth appear, you can start using toothpaste with your child’s brush. However, at this stage, use only a tiny amount of toothpaste, no larger than a pea or pearl. From the beginning, have your little one practice spitting out the toothpaste after brushing.
Don’t give your baby any sort of sweetened drinks or soda. Even the sugars present in fruit juice, formula, and milk can cause decay, so regular tooth and gum cleaning is important, especially before bedtime. Make sure your baby does not go to bed with a bottle containing sugary liquids, milk, or formula. These liquids in prolonged contact with her teeth are part of the cause for early childhood decay (caries) and baby (nursing) bottle caries.
First Visit to the Dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you bring your baby for a visit within six months of the first tooth’s eruption, usually around their first birthday. Since decay can occur in even the youngest children and babies, the earlier your baby visits us, the more likely he or she will avoid dental problems. Remember that preparing for each dental visit with a positive attitude goes a long way toward making your child comfortable with regular checkups.
Setting a Good Example
Most children don’t have the dexterity necessary to thoroughly clean their own teeth until they’re about nine or ten, so it’s a good idea to assist your child with brushing and flossing, when their teeth start touching. Try different tactics to make brushing fun: flavored toothpaste, a toothbrush with a favorite character on it, singing songs about brushing. The main goal of helping your child to clean their teeth is to prevent early dental problems and to instill healthy oral habits at an early age. Imagine assisting your child to have lifetime of healthy, cavity-free teeth!