The arrival of a new baby mostly overwhelms a mother with extra responsibilities. Healthy gum and teeth contribute a significant aspect of your child’s overall health. Among others, the greatest of all risk facing a child’s dental health is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. It usually affects the upper front teeth, but the infection may spread to other teeth.
Sometimes infants experience decay so critical that their teeth cannot survive hence complete removal is the only solution. Even if this first set is temporary, their health is equally essential to the baby’s gums and for future teeth. The good part is that it’s possible to impede tooth decay! Strong oral care is a perfect start for strong jaws that paves the way for permanent teeth.
- 1 Below are some practical tips for your baby’s tooth care
Below are some practical tips for your baby’s tooth care
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Clean Your Baby’s Gums before His Teeth Come In
It’s a noble idea to start cleaning your toddler’s mouth way before teething takes place. Use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe the gum off during birth or after feeding. Avoid the use of toothpaste. Simply wrap the gauze around your finger and gently rub off excess food particles on the child’s gums. Do this at least once daily or after breastfeeding.
Whereas it’s almost impossible for bacteria to harm a toothless gum, you can barely tell when teething starts to occur. You must take precautions early because this will also assist in subsequent transition into tooth brushing.
Take Care of Them Right Away
Once the first teeth come in, begin to take care of them immediately. Many parents are ignorant about them arguing that permanent ones eventually supersede them. They forget that first teeth are not only needed for biting, chewing and speaking, but also preserve space for the permanent ones. Therefore, you must prevent decay which would lead to a gum infection known as gingivitis. The disorder can result in an irregular spacing of permanent teeth. Prevent Early Childhood Cavities that are troublesome while eating fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. These are vital foods to your baby! Avoid leaving your infant with a milk bottle for prolonged periods, especially once he’s no longer feeding and is using the bottle just for comfort.
When should you brush your baby’s teeth?
Immediately the first teeth erupt, purchase a toothbrush the size of a grain of rice. Adjust the size according to your child’s age. Brush them gently front and back-all around using a pea-size of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Select a small head toothbrush comprising of nylon bristles. It helps you to brush all parts of your baby’s mouth with ease and comfort.
Replace the toothbrush frequently, approximately between one to three months. You need a new brush when the bristles are spread out.
When you’re done, confirm that your baby doesn’t swallow the surplus toothpaste. However, do not rinse his mouth. Toothpaste residue left on the teeth makes it more effective.
Regulate Baby’s Fluoride Intake
Fluoride is an essential mineral to a child’s teeth because it prevents tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to harmful bacteria and acids. There are several sources of fluoride for your baby including water, toothpaste, supplements or a fluoride varnish applied to his teeth by a dentist. The recommended amount of fluoride for children under three years is 25mg per day. Note that doctor’s advice against fluoride supplements or water for fewer than six months babies. He must get every nutrient from breastfeeding. After this period, liaise with your healthcare provider who will assess whether your kid requires any fluoride supplements.
Should I give my baby a pacifier?
There is no harm in giving your baby a pacifier but try to stop using them after his first birthday. Prolonged use of pacifiers can lead to an open bite when teeth move to create space for the dummy. They may also interfere with your child’s teeth alignment and speech development. Seek your doctor’s advice on the best type of pacifier to use. Ensure it’s clean and has no traces of sugar or honey.
Monitor your child so that he doesn’t talk or make sounds with the pacifier or their finger in their mouth. Such actions might delay or alter your baby’s speech.
When should I take my baby to the dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that Baby should get his first dental visit at age 1; probably this is the time his first tooth appears. The first accomplishes a couple of things. First, is for the dentist to undertake an examination of the baby’s dentition, check for decay, gum jaw, speech patterns, etc. Second, it familiarizes the toddlers in the office environment. Another accomplishment is that parents are enlightened on best ways to care for their baby’s teeth. The earlier you place him under a monitored dental care, the earlier he will develop healthy oral care habits.
How else can I protect my baby’s teeth?
You should either brush or supervise the process until he/she has grown old enough to clean, rinse and spit without help. Watch out for any signs of tooth decay – check for white or brown pits or spots on the teeth Avoid or minimize sugar as much as possible. The risk lies in the rate at which he takes sugar, not the amount. Sugars break down the mineral surface of the child’s teeth.
Only serve breast milk, formula milk, or boiled water as refreshments for your baby. Avoid flavored milk, fruit juices, and fizzy drinks because they contain plenty of sugar which causes decay.
Make it habit to hold your baby anytime you give them a bottle. It isn’t right to leave a bottle in the crib. Don’t allow your child to fall asleep with the bottle. The milk that pools in your baby’s mouth can cause tooth decay. Certain foods, especially those rich in sugar, highly contribute to the spread of cavities including fruits, juice, dried fruits or starches such as bread, pasta, and crackers. Spare them until mealtime rather than serving them as snacks.
A person’s dental health largely depends on teeth care he received as a baby. Kids often emulate what their parents do. Therefore, every parent must teach their children good cleaning habits. Guide them on the best diet that won’t act as a catalyst of tooth decay. The above tips will help you lay a good foundation to your baby’s dental care. Try them out!