Your baby’s teeth are important — they can even affect their adult teeth. Ensuring their mouth is healthy now prevents cavities and other damage that may have long-term effects. Here’s a summary to help you with your baby’s dental care.
Caring for Your Baby’s Gums
It’s essential to start taking care of your baby’s gums straightaway — without a toothbrush at first. To start:
- Use a wet and softened washcloth or gauze.
- Wipe your baby’s gums gently at least twice a day.
- Make a point of cleaning your baby’s gums after feedings and at bedtime.
Most infants start teething any time from month four to six. Signs that your baby is teething include:
- Excessive crying and crankiness.
- Changes in their feeding and sleeping habits.
- Sucking and biting on toys, blankets and other objects.
- Swollen or red gums and increased drooling.
- Rubbing the sides of the face or pulling the ears.
You can offer your baby a chilled wet cloth, a clean teething ring or cold fruit in a mesh bag to chew on and ease the pain.
Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth
Once your baby’s teeth appear, you can start brushing them with a soft brush. Use one with a small head and a large handle.
Some pediatric dentists recommend waiting until four teeth are out or until your baby is two before brushing.
Use warm water initially — graduate to baby toothpaste the size of a rice grain once the teeth erupt.
Your Baby’s Oral Health and Preventing Cavities
Brushing can prevent cavities. Diet and the way you feed your baby can also help. Improve your baby’s oral health by:
- Feeding them breast milk or formula for the first six months before graduating to solids.
- Avoiding sugary drinks and food.
- Putting them to bed without a bottle.
- Keeping all brushes, bottles and teething objects sterilized.
Schedule your baby’s first dental visit with us around their first birthday. Feel free to talk to our pediatric dentists or orthodontists if you have any questions.
Contact us online to schedule an evaluation, or give us a call at 503-223-5039.