Baby tooth care
Baby teething is a term that strikes fear into the hearts of many parents. With this word come thoughts of crying fits, crankiness, and pain for your baby that is hard to ease. But the process doesn't have to be overwhelming; read our tips for how to care for your baby's brand new teeth!
When does teething happen?
The first thing to know about baby teething is that your baby will most likely not show signs of cutting teeth until about the age of six months. This is when you will notice the little white buds starting to poke through the soft red gum tissue in the mouth. While this is true, it is still important to properly care for your baby’s mouth before any signs of teeth emerge.
Starting a tooth care routine
Taking the time to care for your baby's mouth from an early age will help to instill healthy oral care habits in your child, as well as make the process of cutting teeth a bit easier. One great way to go about this process is to take a soft damp cloth or a piece of soft gauze and gently wipe your baby’s gums and the inside of his or her cheeks. This helps to remove any milk that may accumulate, reduce the amount of bacteria present, and also helps your child to get used to having their mouth cleaned. The better condition the gums are in, the easier, and less painful it will be for teeth to come through.
Once your little one has teeth showing you can begin to transition to a baby toothbrush and toothpaste. Since it will be a while before he or she will be able to rinse and spit, be careful not to use any more toothpaste than necessary. Exposing your child to too much fluoride can be dangerous and can lead to a condition known as florosis, which causes a disturbance in the formation of the tooth enamel during development. The proper amount of toothpaste to use is a very thin ribbon or a dollop the size of a grain of rice. You can safely brush your baby’s teeth twice a day.
Visiting the dentist
It is also a good idea to take your baby in for his or her first dental checkup around the time of their first birthday. Starting early will help your child to become familiar with the process, and it will also give you an opportunity to make sure your child’s teeth are developing properly, as well as learn tips for proper care of your baby’s pearly whites.
Good oral hygiene is something that should be practiced early and often. Starting a habit of cleaning your child’s mouth in the morning and at night before bedtime will set a course of healthy activity for years to come.