Congratulations on having a new baby! After you have your baby, you should be sure that you know what to do when your child’s first teeth start coming in. If you follow these guidelines, you can be sure that your baby is on his or her way to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Caring for Gums
Before your baby’s teeth start to appear, you will want to care for your baby’s gums. After your baby feeds, you will want to wrap one of your fingers in a clean damp washcloth or a piece of gauze and then gently rub it on your child’s gum tissue. This will clear your baby’s mouth of any fragments of food or any leftover sugars that are resting on your child’s gums.
Baby's First Tooth
When you start to see that first tooth erupting through your child’s gums, you will want to purchase a baby toothbrush. The bristles on a baby toothbrush are soft and there should not be a lot of bristles. You can choose a long-handled toothbrush or a finger-puppet-like brush that will simply fit over your pointer finger.
As you are brushing the first few teeth, you do not need to use toothpaste. Put the brush in some water before brushing and even if your child has a hard time with the toothbrush, keep on trying to brush. If you have to switch back to the damp washcloth for a while, do not forget about the toothbrush and keep on trying to reintroduce it. There are some baby toothbrushes that come with a teething tool so your baby will have something to chew on while you are brushing
Brushing with Toothpaste
As more of your baby’s teeth appear, you will then want to start using toothpaste as you brush your child’s teeth. Before your child turns two, you should not be using toothpaste that has fluoride in it. While you are brushing just a few teeth, you only want to use a small amount of toothpaste. As soon as you start brushing with toothpaste you will want to teach your child how to spit out the toothpaste when you are done brushing.
Your baby should not be drinking any type of sugary drink or soda. Some of the sugars that are present in fruit juice, formula, and milk (including breast milk) can cause decay. Cleaning your baby’s teeth and gums from early on is necessary to ensure your child can have a healthy mouth. When you put your child to sleep, make sure that you do not let him or her take a bottle to bed. The prolonged contact with sugar can be very detrimental to the health of his or her teeth.
First Visit to the Dentist
It is generally recommended that you bring your baby into the dentist’s office within six months of your child’s first tooth eruption. Your child’s first birthday is usually a good time to make a dentist’s appointment. Decay can occur in even the smallest of teeth and the earlier your baby comes into the dentist the more likely it will be that we are able to prevent dental problems from occurring in your child’s mouth. Make sure that you are positive about your trips to the dentist to ensure your child is able to be comfortable throughout the regular checkups that will occur in our office.
Setting a Good Example
Your child is going to learn a lot about how to view the dentist from the way that you act about the dentist. When you have a good attitude about going to the dentist, your child will hopefully start to mimic your attitude towards the dentist. Make sure that your child can see you brushing and flossing on a daily basis. If your child starts to show interest in brushing, you should be sure that you get a toothbrush and let your child brush while you are brushing. You should make sure that you brush your child’s teeth for him or her until they are about seven. If your child is having a hard time brushing try to make brushing fun. Use flavored toothpaste, let them pick out their favorite toothbrush or sing songs while you are brushing together. You should instill healthy oral habits at an early age to ensure that your child is going to have a healthy and decay-free mouthth.