Caring For Your Baby’s Teeth – It’s Never Too Early To Start
Everybody knows that a baby’s first set of teeth is temporary teeth and will be replaced by permanent teeth in a few years. So is it really important to care for these temporary teeth? Will dental care or the lack of it at this stage have any impact at all on their oral health? The fact is, it will. All our dentists at Springfield and Richlands universally agree that proper teeth and gum care should begin even before your baby’s first tooth appears.
Here’s a look why early dental care is important and what it entails.
Importance Of Early Dental Care In Babies
However, while you may not be able to see it, a newborn already has a full set of 20 baby teeth hidden in their gums. These teeth begin to push through the gums and become visible when a baby is about 6 to 10 months old. Caring for your baby’s gums and later the teeth as they emerge helps lay the foundation of good dental health.
When a baby’s teeth and gums are not cared for early on, tooth decay can result. Decayed teeth can have several consequences, from discomfort and pain to obstructing good nutrition and speech development. A severe infection can impact a baby’s overall health and may require expense remedial dental treatment. A little-known fact is that baby teeth hold spaces for the permanent teeth to occupy at a later stage. Decayed baby teeth can damage the underlying permanent teeth and interfere with their proper placement.
How To Care For Your Baby’s Teeth
Keeping the gums clean is an integral part of baby dental care even before their teeth start to poke through the gums. This can be done by running a clean, damp, soft washcloth gently over the gums after every feed or at least once a day. This prevents harmful bacteria from accumulating in the mouth.
Brushing is important once your baby’s teeth start to appear. At first you can use a soft silicone or rubber finger brush and then slowly progress to using a soft bristled paediatric toothbrush designed for babies. Moisten the toothbrush with drinking water and put a dab of toothpaste that’s no bigger than the size of a rice grain.
Don’t worry about baby swallowing the toothpaste. You’ll be using such a tiny quantity, it won’t do any harm. As your baby gets older, at around two years, you can teach them to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits For Your Baby
Schedule your baby’s first dental visit when their first tooth becomes visible. Don’t wait till they’ve got their full set of teeth or when they turn 3, which was the traditional timeline. The earlier your child starts visiting our clinic at either Springfield or Richlands the better.
At the first visit, the dentist will first want to know details about your child’s overall medical history. They will then conduct a complete oral check-up and follow it up with age-appropriate tips regarding teething, brushing techniques, common tooth decay causes and preventive measures, and nutritional advice. During the follow-up visits, the dentist will make sure that your child’s teeth are growing properly and continue to remain healthy.
Schedule regular appointments with your child’s dentist is a vital part of their long-term dental health. The regular check-ups and timely dental care tips keep tooth decay and other oral problems at bay, setting the stage for healthy teeth and gums right through adulthood.