Preparing a Beautiful Smile
There is absolutely nothing that you wouldn’t do for your child. Even so, the task of taking care of their precious little teeth can seem daunting when it is so difficult to get your children to sit still long enough to clean them! No matter the difficulty of the task at hand, it is imperative to care for your children’s teeth and gums, even before they have teeth and even though your baby’s new teeth will eventually be lost.
When caring for your baby’s new teeth, it is important to:
Give them water
Once your child is old enough to drink water, that should be her primary beverage. Water helps to cleanse the mouth of acids and promote saliva production, which also serves as a cleansing agent. Never put your child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice; this will introduce sugars into the mouth that can encourage decay, even before your child has teeth.
Clean the gums
Before teeth erupt through their gums, it is still important to wipe away any residue left on the gums during the day. Take a clean, wet washcloth and gently wipe your baby’s gums. This not only clears away acids, but also begins the habit of oral care. When teeth do begin to come through, this gentle massage with a wet cloth can be soothing to a sore little mouth.
Brush with fluoridated toothpaste
As soon as your child has even one tooth, this is the time to start brushing. Always use a child-sized, soft-bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel. Enamel is the barrier that protects the inner tooth from acids in the mouth. Be sure only to use a small dab of toothpaste, less than the size of a pea, and encourage your child to spit out the excess once brushing is completed.
Have regular dental exams
It is recommended that a child start having regular check-ups with the dentist within 6 months of cutting her first tooth. A dentist can monitor the growth of your child’s teeth and identify issues before they become problems. Taking care of baby teeth is good for overall health, but will also keep healthy spacers for adult teeth to erupt in the future.
Taking care of your baby’s teeth should begin as soon as your baby is born! Good oral health is one of the many gifts that are able to give to your wonderful bundle of joy.