8 Amazing Tips for Taking Care of Baby Teeth
When your baby shows the first signs of teething it’s essential to start taking care of his or her teeth. Even though baby teeth aren’t permanent, keeping them healthy is vital to your baby's gums and those future adult teeth. Ensure your baby's new teeth receive the best possible care.
Keep on reading to discover some of the most practical tips for taking care of your baby’s teeth.
1. Wipe your baby’s gums after feeding
Even before your baby’s first tooth erupts, it’s important to start cleaning his or her gums with a soft cloth or rubber finger tips. This helps wipe away food residue and gets your baby used to have his or her mouth cleaned, which helps prepare for brushing and flossing in the future.
2. Schedule an appointment with the dentist
According to the American Dental Association, you should take your baby to a pediatric dentist within six months after your baby gets his or her first tooth. While dental needs may differ from one child to another, taking proper care of all your baby’s teeth even before the first visit to the dentist is critical to keep them healthy.
3. Start the toothbrush
Around the time your baby gets 2 years old, or whenever your child develops multiple teeth, start using a soft toothbrush and a pie-sized amount of cavity-preventing fluoride toothpaste to clean his or her teeth. Help him or her practice the proper brushing technique, but try brushing more thoroughly for your baby as he or she is learning.
4. Prevent thumb sucking
Thumb sucking is a natural reflex that helps your baby soothe himself or herself and learn how to accept nourishment. Most children stop sucking their thumbs or fingers at 2 to 4 years of age. If your baby continues sucking his or her finger or thumb after developing adult teeth, he or she is at increased risk of having crooked teeth, particularly if sucking is constant and forceful. Besides, it may lead to speech defects, especially with “th“ and “s“ sounds. Try encouraging your child to stop sucking his or her teeth. Consult your dentist for advice if your baby cannot give up thumb sucking by the end of the first year at school.
5. Limit bottle at bedtime
If you let your baby take a bottle to bed, you’re putting him or her at increased risk of tooth decay. Your baby can fall asleep while sucking, which will allow liquid to pool in the mouth. Sugars from a bottle of milk or juice will sit on your baby’s teeth all night long, damaging his or her enamel and gums.
6. Make sure your baby drinks water
Try rinsing your baby’s mouth with water after every meal to help wash out sugary acids from the mouth, which are highly present in most kinds of baby food. And give your baby some water after feeding him or her to help reduce the time sugars sit on the teeth.
7. Limit sugary foods
Babies aren’t naturally born with a sweet tooth and will happily enjoy naturally flavored foods that you may consider bland. Avoid giving your baby foods with extra sugar in them, and try diluting fruit juices with water to preserve your baby’s dental health.
8. Use fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is proven to prevent tooth decay by eliminating bacteria that cause plaque. Fluoride toothpaste is the best way to give your baby fluoride and is highly recommended for baby teeth by the American Dental Association. Use a little smear on the brush for children under three years, and a pea-sized amount for children over the age of three.