A baby’s first tooth is an exciting milestone for which many parents anxiously wait. While there are few things cuter than a baby’s gap-toothed grin, it is important to take care of their primary teeth so that their adult teeth will grow in healthy and strong. The following five tips will help you to establish an oral hygiene routine that will protect your baby’s first teeth while establishing good habits that will last a lifetime.
Care For Your Baby’s Gums
Even before your baby’s first teeth emerge, you can begin caring for their gums by removing the bacteria that can build up between feedings. To do so, simply use a clean, wet washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums at least twice a day. For the best results, wipe gums after feedings and before bedtime.
Begin Brushing Early
The first year of your baby’s life is the best time to begin establishing the habits that your child needs to ensure optimum oral health. From the moment the first tooth emerges, you can begin brushing your child’s tooth with a soft toothbrush designed for infants and toddlers. For very young babies, a finger brush can be worn to gently brush around the new tooth. Remember to use toothpaste designed for children under the age of two until you receive your dentist’s approval to use one with fluoride.
Avoid Sugary Beverages
To keep those first teeth looking shiny and white, you will need to prevent cavities. Because sugar is the main culprit behind decay, you will need to limit the amount of sugary beverages that your child consumes. Therefore, only formula, breast milk or water should be placed in a child’s bottle. It is also important to avoid allowing a child to sleep with their bottle because the milk can pool in their mouth and cause decay.
Establish Regular Dental Visits
By the age of one, your child should have their first trip to a San Antonio family dentistry office. During this first visit, your child’s dentist will conduct an examination and provide instructions regarding oral hygiene practices for young children. They can also advise you on how to handle common issues such as thumb sucking and teething pain.
Recognize the First Signs of Problems
Even with the best of care, problems might still arise with a child’s first teeth. By staying alert for signs of decay, such as dark spots or pitting, you can ensure that your child will receive prompt attention from their dentist. Accidents can also contribute to knocked-out or chipped teeth. By having an established relationship with a quality dentist, you can catch these problems early enough to preserve that precious smile.