If you have a new baby, you want to make sure you provide them with the best care possible. Part of that care includes their developing teeth. If you're a first-time parent, you might not realize this, but good oral hygiene and dental health begins before the first tooth appears. Here are four steps you should take to take care of your baby's developing teeth.
Cleanse the Gums
Healthy teeth and gums begin on day one. Your little one might not have teeth, but that doesn't mean they don't need their mouth cleaned. To help prevent dental problems later, be sure to keep your little one's gums clean. All you need is a clean cloth and some warm water. Get the cloth wet and wipe your baby's gums several times a day. For best results, you should cleanse your baby's gums first thing in the morning, after each feeding during the day, and right before bed. Not only will this keep your baby's mouth clean, but it will also get them in the habit of caring for their teeth throughout their life.
Brush and Floss
As soon as your little one develops that first tooth, you should transition to a soft toothbrush. Not only will this help keep their teeth clean, it will also get them used to having a different texture in their mouth. If you have a hard time getting your baby to sit still while you brush their teeth, give them the toothbrush and let them chew on it for a few minutes. Be sure to hold them while they have the toothbrush. This will prevent them from falling with the toothbrush in their mouth. It's also important that you introduce your baby to dental floss as soon as they have their first tooth.
Avoid Sweetened Drinks
To help keep your baby's teeth and gums healthy, you should avoid giving them bottles filled with sweetened drinks. Sweetened drinks can destroy the soft enamel on your baby's developing teeth, and this can lead to a condition known as baby-bottle tooth decay. Unfortunately, baby-bottle tooth decay can lead to premature tooth loss. To prevent tooth decay, try offering clear water instead.
See the Dentist
If you're unsure about when to schedule your little one's first dental visit, a good rule thumb is to go right after their first tooth appears. Early dental checkups will allow the dentist to monitor your baby's developing teeth. It will also allow them to catch problems early.
Don't take chances with your baby's developing teeth. For other helpful tips on how to care for your baby's teeth, be sure to speak to a pediatric dentist, such as one at Kilby Family Dentistry.