Congratulations on the arrival of your child! Are you ready for the arrival of your baby’s first tooth? We would like to ensure your child has a lifetime of smiles; just follow these simple guidelines to set your son or daughter on the right dental path.
Caring for Gums
Your baby’s gums can benefit from your careful attention even before the arrival of their first baby tooth. When finished breast or bottle feeding, wrap a soft damp wash cloth around your finger and gently run it across your baby’s gum tissue. When doing this, not only do you get rid of any food fragments it begins the process of building great oral care habits.
Baby’s First Tooth
When you see your baby’s first tooth, you can upgrade to a baby toothbrush. When shopping for a baby toothbrush you will notice two options: a long-handled toothbrush that you and your baby can hold together and a finger-brush that fits over your pointer finger. Both options have a few soft bristles.
At this stage of the teething process, water on the brush will work just fine. Don’t give up if you little one doesn’t react well to the introduction of a toothbrush. Revert back to the washcloth for a few months and then try the toothbrush again. While going through the teething process your baby will want to chew on everything, a baby toothbrush with a teether might become a favorite toy.
Brushing With Toothpaste
After a few more teeth have erupted, you can introduce toothpaste. For the first two years be sure to use toothpaste that does not contain fluoride, unless advised otherwise by your dentist, too much fluoride can be dangerous to your little one. When using toothpaste at this stage just a smear on the toothbrush will do. Make sure to teach your child to spit after brushing, this will prepare them for toothpaste that contains fluoride.
You should avoid giving your baby any sweetened liquids such as flavored drinks and soda. The sugars present in fruit juice, formula, and even breast milk can cause decay, so teeth and gum cleaning on a regular basis is crucial. Prevent your child from going to sleep with a bottle as well; the sugar in the liquids after a prolonged period of time are a guarantee for early childhood decay, also known as baby-bottle caries.
First Visit to the Dentist
Within the first six months of your baby’s first tooth coming in you should bring your baby in for a visit. Usually this happens around his or her first birthday. Decay can happen in even the smallest of teeth, so the earlier you bring your child in to visit us, the more likely you can avoid problems. We will check for any signs of early problems in your baby’s oral health, and discuss the best way to care for your little one’s teeth. Keeping a positive attitude while preparing for a dental visit helps to ensure your child has a comfortable visit with us.
Setting a good example
Take advantage of your little one’s expert mimicking techniques. Be sure to brush and floss daily while your child is watching, and he or she will learn at an early age the importance of good oral habits. When your child starts to show interest, give them a tooth brush of their own and encourage them to brush with you. Most children do not have the dexterity to brush completely on their own until ages six to seven so you will need to help them until then. Try to make brushing as fun as possible; there are numerous tactics such as: a toothbrush with their favorite character, flavored toothpaste, and teeth brushing songs. The primary goal is to set your child on a path of good oral habits at an early age so they can live a healthy, cavity free life!