When Should You Start Caring for Your Baby's Oral Health?
Preventative dental care should actually start before the child’s first baby tooth emerges. Even if they don’t have teeth yet, their baby gums still need protection from all the harmful bacteria found in the mouth.
Parents should gently cleanse their baby’s gums after every fee ding. Use a damp washcloth or a clean finger to remove traces of milk or formula from the gums.
When it comes to brushing, this should start as soon as you see the first baby tooth emerging.
How to Create a Good Oral Hygiene Routine for Your Child
Good oral habits at home are the foundation of a happy smile. Through regular brushing and good oral hygiene habits, you can greatly reduce the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
Here are some tips that can help you build a great routine for cleaning your child’s teeth:
1. Be Consistent
Consistency is key regarding good oral habits at any age. It’s important to help the child get used to this part and see it as a regular part of their day.
You can start having them brush their teeth two times a day, though it’s preferable to do it after every meal.
2. Use Fluoride Products (in Small Amounts)
Use water and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste—not more than a grain of rice. Small children can’t spit yet, so it’s important to prevent them from swallowing fluoride. You can also combine it with toothpaste without fluoride.
You can also floss their teeth to remove bacteria from places that the toothbrush can’t reach.
3. Limit or Avoid Some Foods
Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal for good oral health because they help promote saliva production, which flushes out unwanted bacteria and food particles.
But foods and drinks that contain lots of sugar increase the child’s risk for cavities. It’s best to avoid them as much as possible or cleanse the child’s mouth with water after they enjoy a treat.
When to Take the Child to See a Dentist
It’s best to take your child for their first dental appointment as soon as their first baby tooth appears. Dr. Angie Sage will take a look at the child’s mouth and provide you with even more useful tips on how to care for their oral health at home
To get started, book a consultation at Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry online, or call us at (210) 822-8381 for more information.