That cute, gummy smile your baby flashes at you will someday hold a mouth full of teeth. What most new parents don’t realize though is that even when there are no teeth poking through the gums, infant oral care is imperative for their future oral health.
The sooner you start caring for your baby’s teeth, the better his oral health will be. Here’s what you should do to pave the way for a future that holds the promise of pearly whites and cements a proper foundation for impeccable oral hygiene.
Clean The Gums After Feedings
When it comes to cleaning a baby’s toothless mouth, all that’s needed is to use a clean, wet washcloth to gently rub along the gums. Wrap it around one finger - make sure that’s clean too - and apply slight pressure. Doing so after feedings will greatly reduce their chances for future tooth decay.
Watch Out For Unclean Objects
When you feed your baby, be it from a bottle or your breast, you give a pacifier, or you share something that’s been in your own mouth - like a spoon with baby food for example - you must make sure everything is clean. Bacteria is what leads to dental problems as well as illnesses. Sanitize all teething toys, pacifiers, bottles, and anything you plan on putting in your baby’s mouth. It’s not just about the germs, but the AAPD warns that infections are much more likely if you’re not vigilant, and yes, they can affect the gums too.
Baby Those Baby Teeth
That first tooth poking out of the gums is a milestone. Once it happens, get a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for babies and baby-safe toothpaste without fluoride. These will require no spitting and are safe if swallowed. No need to put tons of it on there, just make a habit of brushing those baby teeth twice a day. Yes, baby teeth will fall out eventually, but you don’t want them to fall out prematurely and lead to larger dental issues down the road.
See The Dentist
It’s recommended that you take your baby to the dentist by his first birthday. One that specializes in paediatric dentistry is always best as they are specially trained to work with children. The dentist can also make sure you’re taking proper care of those tiny teeth.
Proper infant oral care may seem tedious, but it will eliminate many oral health problems as your baby grows into a toddler and onward. Plus, when you establish this healthy habit early on, your child will be much more likely to practice their own good oral hygiene every day without you having to beg or plead.
About The Author:
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.