Start taking care of your baby’s oral health early. It will help prevent any problems associated with it in the future. Most of you may be unaware of taking care of babies’ oral health. But it is essential to take good care of the oral health of your newborn baby. Remember that you should start it even before your baby begins teething.
Especially for parents new to caring for their baby’s teeth and gums, it might be a bit overwhelming as you have other parenting duties.
With proper newborn baby oral health care, you can protect your baby’s chances of getting cavities later in life. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, surprisingly, more than 40 percent of kids between 2 and 9 years old suffer from tooth decay or cavities.
So, if you want to protect your little one’s oral health – all you need to do is to put in a little effort. Remember that the earlier you start, the better it is. Here we discuss a few things you start with for good infant oral health.
The First Newborn Baby Oral Care Exam
Oral care for your newborn baby is more important than most parents realize. You should know well what to do with a newborn baby to help prevent oral health issues. It will also help your child avoid cavities. Baby bottles and
Breastfeeding and baby bottles can lead to cavities in small infants if oral care is not taken seriously. You should know what those recommendations for early dental care are and how you should take care of your newborn baby’s delicate teeth.
If you are a parent of a newborn and think you have years before your child will need to visit the dentist – then you need to think again. The AAPD or American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you schedule your child’s first oral hygiene appointment when they reach their first birthday. Why so soon?
The biggest reason is to help prevent problems from occurring in the future. Oral damage or similar conditions can still happen if your kid does not have teeth.
It is important to note that infant dental problems typically stem from baby bottle decay or even nursing. Can gum disease strike little mouths too? Yes, approx half of all children between the ages of 2 -3 have at least mild gum tissue inflammations too.
Therefore, educating yourself on common oral care tips for your infant and daily hygiene needs that may prevent common conditions is best. Remember that healthy teeth and gums also play an early role in how your child learns. They can speak clearly, chew food properly, and share a confident smile.
Tips to Keep Your Newborn Baby Teeth Clean
1. Clean the gums
Indeed, you will not have to use a toothbrush or toothpaste until you see the baby’s first tooth come out. But cleaning the gums after each feeding will help remove bacteria and sugar from your baby’s mouth.
Wrap your finger with a clean and damp cloth. Then slowly rub their gum with it to clean their gum. Cleaning after every meal is helpful.
2. What out for things you put in your baby’s mouth
It is essential to keep an eye on what you put in your baby’s mouth: Another vital part of newborn baby oral health care is being careful of what you are putting in your baby’s mouth.
Bacteria in the mouth might cause tooth decay and cavities and is thus considered a dental infection. You should not even put your fingers inside your baby’s mouth. But you should properly clean your hands as it can cause an infection in their mouth.
It is a good practice to never share anything in your mouth, such as utensils or toothbrushes, with your baby. Do not forget to rinse the bottle nipples and pacifiers with water before putting them in your mouth. All these steps could help you in cutting down the spread of bacteria.
3. Proper care of your baby’s first teeth
Once your baby’s first teeth erupt, it is time when you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small amount of toothbrush. You can use a toothpaste free from fluoride and with a mild flavor. It is completely safe even if your baby swallows it accidentally.
Moreover, you can use a baby toothbrush that may fit comfortably in their tiny mouth. Try to make it a habit to brush your baby’s mouth at least twice daily from when their first tooth appears. These small tips will go a long way to keep your baby’s teeth healthy.
4. Brush your baby’s tooth with a toothbrush
You should gently wash very gently. Also, ensure that you cover all sides and gums that surround it. Once the multiple teeth of your newborn baby start to come out, you can initiate flossing. Flossing helps remove debris stuck between adjacent teeth.
Even if their baby teeth fall out in time, taking good care of them is vital. The primary reason is that they will not fall off before time. Healthy baby teeth will mark the space where your baby’s permanent teeth grow. Their permanent teeth will take their place. At the same time, it will assist your child in chewing properly and pronouncing words correctly.
5. Your baby’s first dental visit
When your baby’s first teeth come out, it is time for your baby’s first dental visit. It is recommended that all parents should go for regular dental visits for their children for proper dental care. It is best to get in touch with a pediatric dentist. As they have special training in taking care of a baby’s mouth.
During your baby’s dental visit, you should ask about any concerns. If you are confused about how to brush your baby’s teeth or what to expect about their teething symptoms, you can ask your dentist.
Some Other Vital Tips for Infant Oral Health Care
Babies should not sleep with feeding bottles
You should not allow your babies to sleep with feeding bottles in their mouth: IF your baby has feeding bottles in the mouth for an extended period – your baby’s mouth gets exposed to milk or other liquid for a long time.
It could lead to the development of plaque in your baby teeth which is harmful in the long run. The plaque mainly affects the front tooth in the form of black or brown spots.
Always keep your baby teeth and gum clean
Even before your baby’s first teeth come, there are some infant oral health care steps you should take. You should make sure their mouth and gums are healthy. You must strictly follow all those steps to achieve your baby’s oral health.
Take your baby to the dentist on time
You would be surprised to know that many parents do not visit their child’s dentist until they reach 2 years. But remember that it is much later than recommended.
It is good to visit your dentist within six months of the first tooth’s eruption. With timely dental visits, it will be easy for your dentist to catch developing dental issues early to prevent all damages. There could be several damages occurring to your child’s teeth.
Always feed your baby healthy food and drinks
You should know that proper infant oral health care may involve a good diet. A balanced and healthy diet is one of the main components if you want to achieve healthy teeth and gums.
Your baby will start consuming solid food when they are six months old. At that age, they can eat several kinds of food. Make the right choice of foods and snacks, as it will go a long way toward maintaining proper dental health. You should consciously avoid all sticky and chewy foods that get stuck to your baby teeth and may lead to plaque build-up.
When Should Dental Care Begin?
Most pediatric dentists agree that regular dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each year even for children. However, some children might need check-ups more often. This dental checklist for infants and toddlers is from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
Birth to 6 months old
- Clean your baby’s mouth, especially after feedings and at bedtime. You can use water and a cloth or gauze – or you may also use a soft infant toothbrush.
- Talk with your child’s dentist about fluoride supplements, especially if you live without fluoridated water.
- Also, may ask about fluoride varnish that can be applied to the teeth.
- Moreover, create regular feeding habits both for bottle feeding and breastfeeding.
Facts about baby teeth
Correct care of a baby’s teeth or primary teeth is very important. These teeth hold space for the future adult or permanent teeth.
- If your baby’s tooth decays or is removed too early – note that the space for the permanent teeth is lost. It can only be regained after orthodontic treatment.
- Infected baby teeth can cause permanent teeth to develop incorrectly. It could lead to pits, stains, and weaker teeth.
- Remember that baby teeth are important in speech development.
- Baby teeth also aid in chewing food correctly, promoting healthy nutrition for your baby.
Most children lose their baby teeth when they are 5 or 6 years old. Children often lose their front teeth first. They continue to lose baby teeth until the age of 12 or 13. At this stage, all of their permanent teeth finally come – except for the third molars ( or wisdom teeth). These molar teeth begin to appear when they age 17 to 21.
Once your newborn baby’s oral health care strategy is in place, it will become a habit similar to taking care of your teeth. Remember, infant, and newborn baby oral health care begins a lifetime of oral hygiene habits.
If you face any problem in your baby’s oral health care – keep aside all dental facts and myths and visit your dentist. Our clinic has a lot of pediatric dentists whom you can trust for your baby’s oral health care.