Caring for Your New Baby's Teeth
Have you recently welcomed the birth of a new child? Congratulations!! Along with all of the other new things to learn, new parents also have questions about how to make sure that new baby's teeth and gums are healthy. We wanted to help answer your qustions.
Before your child gets their first tooth, you can start taking care of their gums. After a feeing, babies can benefit from having their gums carefully cleaned. Wrap your finger in clean, damp washcloth – you can also use a piece of gauze – and very gently rub it across baby's gums. It's helps clean the gums as well as get both you and baby forming healthy oral care habits at a very early age.
Caring for Baby's First Tooth
When your baby's first tooth appears, it is a milestone moment! Now, it's time to begin using a toothbrush to clean their teeth. Baby toothbrushes come in a few different options: a long-handled brush similar to an adult toothbrush or a brush that fits over the parent's finger. In either case, brushes for babies should have a few, soft bristles. When brushing at this stage, you won't need to use toothpaste – simple dip the brush in water.
We understand that there can be a lot of questions at this stage, so please reach out to us at any time.
When to use Toothpaste
There is no exact rule about when to begin using toothpaste. Typically, though, after a few more teeth appear, you can begin introducing toothpaste to your baby's oral care routine. For the first two years, it's important to use a non-fluoride toothpaste, unless your dentist has told you otherwise. You only need a small amount of toothpaste and, even early on, you can help your child learn to spit toothpaste out when their finished brushing so they are prepared when it's time to switch to fluoride toothpaste.
We know that sugar causes cavities. You can help avoid cavities by not giving your child sugary foods or drinks. However, breast milk, some formula, and other food thats your child may have contain sugar too. It's important to develop healthy oral care habits, cleaning their teeth regularly. Avoid allowing your child to go to bed with a bottle as well since the prolonged exposure to these sugars can put your child at further risk of tooth decay.
First Visit to the Dentist
Usually, your child will come in for their first checkup around their first birthday. However, if your child's teeth appear earlier, you can schedule an appointment for about six months after their first tooth appears. Even at early ages, you can help your child by being positive about upcoming dental visits.
Being a Good Example
In addition to being positive, there are many ways that you can help make brushing fun and be a good example for your child as their learn:
- Let your child brush their teeth with you
- Let them mimic you
- Make brushing fun
- Supervise, especially younger children
- Use flavored toothpaste or toothpaste with favorite characters
- Show your child videos of kids having fun brushing their teeth