June 26, 2018

5 Ways to Take Care of Your Infant's Teeth

Why take care of teeth that are just going to fall out? Here are five very important reasons why.
Although you can’t quite see them yet, taking care of your baby’s mouth before and after those teeth show up is pretty important.
That toothless smile may seem like the most adorable thing in the world, but it’s not going to last forever.
Since babies are born without teeth, it’s easy to forget that it’s still important to take care of your babies mouth and prepare for when those little teeth come.
Making sure to take care of your baby's teeth from the start will ensure that, when they do come in, they are healthy and strong, and it will be a good foundation for great teeth in the future.
Here are five ways to take care of your infant’s teeth and make sure their smile is always as cute with teeth as it is without.
1. Start from day one
According to the American Dental Association, it's important to start taking care of your infant’s gums even from the very first day you bring them home.
The best way is to take a warm cloth and rub their gums daily. It’s also a good way to soothe achy gums when your baby starts to teeth.
2. Create good habits
Although it’s very tempting to have your child suck a binky or drink a bottle to get to sleep, it can actually lead to tooth problems in the future.
Doing this can lead to something called baby bottle tooth decay, which may not seem like a big deal because baby teeth fall out, but actually, the health of baby teeth can affect permanent teeth in the long run.
3. Go to the dentist
As soon as your infant’s teeth begin to appear, they are susceptible to tooth decay, so a good rule of thumb is to take them to see the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears or after their first birthday.
Most babies begin to get their teeth at around four to six months, but some won't get them until around 12 to 13 months, according to the American Dental Association.
At your baby’s first infant dental exam, the dentist will not only check the baby’s teeth and gums but they will be able to teach you how to continue taking care of your baby’s teeth, what to watch out for in regards to decay, and important things about their growth and development.
4. Use fluoride
According to the American Dental Association, before children are 3 years old, it’s good to brush their teeth with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day.
Unless your dentist says otherwise during your infant dental exam, a good amount is about the size of a grain of rice.
After the age of three, it is okay to use about a pea-sized amount and to encourage them to brush their teeth themselves, reminding them to not swallow the toothpaste.
5. Watch what goes in
A very large part of making sure your baby’s teeth are good from the get-go is to regulate what goes in their mouths and to make sure they eat and drink sugary things in moderation.
Things like juice, candy, and other highly-acidic foods and drinks can cause tooth decay early on, so it’s important to keep your child from eating or drinking them too often, and especially avoid them before bedtime.
Make sure to only give your child breastmilk, formula, or milk before bed and not juice. Also, make sure they drink these before they fall asleep and not during.