Your baby’s first teeth, also known as primary teeth, are more important than you might think. Since they’re supposed to fall out, many people think of them as “disposable”. The truth is, healthy baby teeth lead the way to healthy permanent, or adult, teeth. If they get diseased or fall out too soon, it can lead to greater problems down the line.
Dental Care For Baby Gums and Teeth
You should start cleaning your baby’s gums even before their first teeth arrive. No toothpaste is needed, just a gentle wipe with a clean, damp face washer or gauze.
There are a couple of benefits to wiping down gums:
- Help wipe away bacteria.
- Check to see if the child has managed to get anything stuck in their mouth they shouldn’t have.
- Establish a cleaning habit early on.
Once teeth appear, you’ll use much the same method to clean the gums. Wrap the gauze or washer around your finger, and gently wipe it front and back. You can even try introducing small, baby-size toothbrushes with soft bristles.
You should not use toothpaste until the child is at least 18 months old.
Cleaning Baby Teeth
It can be a bit tricky to clean your baby’s teeth, particularly if they’re tired, restless, or fussing. They may even be in a particularly playful mood, making it difficult to get anything into their mouth to clean with.
Here are our tips for cleaning your baby’s teeth:
- Place the baby in a comfortable position where you can see their mouth, and they feel secure.
- Cup your baby’s chin in your hands, with their head resting against your body.
- Clean the teeth using soft, circular motions.
- Lift their lips to brush the front and back of the teeth and at the gum line.
Good Diet For Baby Teeth
Cleaning your teeth is only half the battle when it comes to tooth decay. The other half is a proper diet that doesn’t promote gum disease.
- Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible. Even before teeth appear, sugary food and drink will make bacteria build up.
- Put your baby to bed with a bottle of water, not juice.
- Dried fruits are high in sugar and should be kept to a minimum.
Child’s First Dental Visit
We recommend your child should come visit your hoppers crossing dentist with you during one of your regular checks and cleans from about 6 months old. They won’t have any work done on them; it’s just to get them used to the dental environment. At around 2 years of age, your child is ready for their first visit. This will involve a simple check and clean, and some record keeping to start tracking the growth and health of your child’s teeth.