From cradle cap to diaper rash, your baby is bound to have lots of little health issues that are more time consuming to deal with than actually a problem. However, as kids learn healthy habits from their parents and what they were exposed to when they were young, your child's dental health falls in between those categories of "time consuming" and "worrying" and becomes an area you're stuck wondering exactly how to care for – especially when baby doesn't have their first tooth yet. If you're wondering what the most effective ways are to care for your baby's dental health, then here's what you need to know.
Your baby might not have any teeth yet, but that's no reason to neglect their oral health. Cleaning your baby's gums with a damp cloth or damp gauze (preferably after each feeding, but at least once a day after the last feeding) will not only help any food to get off their gums, but will also get your baby used to the process of having their mouth cleaned, so that it's not an entirely new (nor entirely frightening/obnoxious) process by the time your baby cuts his first couple teeth and needs to go in to see the dentist.
First Checkup and Care
Experts agree that your baby's first trip to the dentist should be at or before their first birthday (or within 6 months of the first tooth erupting). In this checkup, the dentist will likely just check the teeth and gums to make sure they're developing correctly, which familiarizes your baby with the dentist.
Contrary to popular belief, just because your baby's teeth will be replaced by a permanent set doesn't mean you shouldn't take just as much care with them as you would an adult set of teeth. Not only do baby teeth act as placeholders to ensure that permanent teeth come in correctly, but they also teach your baby how to speak and chew correctly, which will help them as they grow older.
Once your baby starts having teeth (in the plural, rather than the singular), you might be tempted to use the free toothbrush from the dentist and your family's regular toothpaste on their teeth – but don't. Getting a soft-bristled brush is imperative since little kids often want to "help" brush and will end up being too forceful, which can cause problems like gum receding with a stiffer toothbrush. While your child is under the age of 3, try to ensure they brush with low-fluoride toothpaste, which will prevent their sensitive teeth from getting pitted.
For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as John C. Matunas D.D.S., PA.Share