Dental hygiene is important from an early age, even when babies don’t yet have their teeth. Starting now, there are things you can do to acclimate your child to daily oral care and to prepare their gums for their baby teeth. Some parents assume that because baby teeth aren’t permanent, they don’t need to be cared for, but this is untrue. They act as placeholders for permanent teeth and help your child learn to eat, drink, and speak with ease. Taking daily care of your child’s smile will help keep their gums and mouth healthy, paving the way for healthy adult teeth when the time comes. Here are some simple tips to care for your baby’s oral health right from the start!
How to Clean Your Baby’s Gums
Even before their teeth erupt, keep your baby’s mouth clean by wiping their gums with a clean, warm washcloth after feedings. This will help keep bacteria from building up on their gums. You can also buy a soft, rubbery finger cover specifically designed for cleaning baby gums.
How to Soothe Teething Pain
Any parent can tell you that teething isn’t fun, as jagged teeth emerging for the first time through soft tissue seems to cause our littlest loves immense pain. Along with following your pediatrician’s advice, we recommend gently massaging your baby’s tender gums with a clean finger or a cool, moist washcloth and providing plenty of soft teething toys.
Checkups & Brushing After the First Tooth
As soon as your child’s first tooth emerges, schedule their first dental visit within six months or by the time they are one year old. Our team can help you establish an effective oral care routine that will encourage a lifetime of excellent dental health habits for your child. When your child gets their first tooth is also the time to start brushing their teeth with a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Have them hold a different toothbrush or two if they regularly grab at the one you use to brush. When they have at least two teeth touching, begin flossing. Moreover, to avoid “baby bottle tooth decay”, don’t put your baby to bed or down for a nap with a bottle of milk or juice.
How to Care for Your Toddler’s Teeth
Once your child reaches the age of three, you can start brushing their teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste. Help get them excited about caring for their dental health by letting them pick out a toothbrush with their favorite character, playing their favorite song as they brush, or rewarding them with stickers. Additionally, be sure to teach your child to spit out their toothpaste instead of swallowing it.
We Care About Your Child’s Health!
Today’s Dental is eager to help your child have outstanding oral health from the very beginning. Let us know if you have any additional questions about how to care for your child’s gums and teeth, and contact us today to schedule their first checkup.