Oral Hygiene For Babies: Our Easy Tips
We all know of the importance of oral hygiene for ourselves, and the same applies for your baby! But you may be wondering the best ways to take care of your baby’s oral hygiene, seeing as they can’t use the same toothpaste or pick up a toothbrush!
All it takes is a few easy tips to give you a solid basis of oral hygiene for babies and how to take care of their mouth and gums – as well as all those new baby teeth.
Taking your baby to the dentist is essential.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should take your baby to the dentist before their first birthday, or within six months of their first tooth breaking through – whichever comes first.
This way, you’ll be able to receive professional advice about your baby’s teeth, spot any potential problems well in advance and ensure preventative measures are being taken to avoid oral health issues in the future.
Avoid giving your child a bottle at bedtime.
Tooth decay is surprisingly common in toddlers and is often linked to baby bottles at bedtime. In fact, it’s so common that the condition has it’s own nickname – ‘bottle mouth’.
If you give your baby a bottle of juice, milk or formula at bedtime, the sugars from these drinks will remain on their teeth overnight, contributing to decay by eating at the enamel, resulting in pitted or discolored teeth.
Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle where possible. Or, if you really must, use plain water instead of milk or juice.
Keep your baby’s gums clean and remove plaque regularly.
Even when there are no teeth to clean, you should still take care of your baby’s gums. All it takes is a gentle wipe with a damp gauze or washcloth to help clear away any build up of harmful bacteria.
You should also remove plaque (the sticky film you find in your mouth) on a daily basis to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. This can be done as you brush your child’s teeth – something that should be done as soon as the first tooth appears using a soft, infant-sized toothbrush and water.
Use toothpaste once your child is old enough to spit.
Once your child reaches around three years old, they should be able to spit properly. Now is the time to introduce toothpaste when you brush their teeth. Use a pea sized amount (or less) of a toothpaste containing fluoride for clean teeth, a healthy mouth and protection against cavities.
After reaching this stage, you should try to brush your child’s teeth twice a day – especially after meal times. You should also encourage flossing from an early age to get them into a good habit early on.
Knowing how to take care of your baby’s teeth is one thing, but oral hygiene is important too. Ensure the very best for your baby by knowing how to keep their teeth, mouth and gums healthy and safe