When you have your first baby, you are often overwhelmed with the many details of baby care. Just the daily feeding, bathing, and rocking routine can take up every spare minute. When your child begins to get their first teeth, you may not even think about your baby's dental care. Of course, the time when teeth are just beginning to emerge is when you need to start caring for them. You should establish good oral health habits for your child early to prevent serious problems later on.
You can set your child up for years of dental problems before they even turn one if you let them nurse or take a bottle as they drift off to sleep. The milk or formula will stay on the teeth overnight, contributing to plaque and possible tooth decay. Baby teeth are only temporary teeth, but they play a big role in the health of adult teeth because they blaze the trail for the permanent teeth. Bad baby teeth can mean bad adult teeth.
Although you can clean your baby's mouth with gauze even before their teeth begin to come in, you definitely should brush their teeth once they emerge. You should invest in a toothbrush that is small enough to comfortably fit inside your child's mouth. When applying toothpaste, put a small blot of a fluoride product on the brush and carefully clean all the sides of each tooth. Also, brush the tongue if possible. The more bacteria you can remove, the better. You do not need to have your child rinse.
You should seriously consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist around their first birthday, particularly if you already have concerns about their teeth. You may also want to consider this type of dentist if your child does not do well with any type of medical procedure. A pediatric dentist knows all the tricks to dealing with a scared baby or toddler and that child's parents. You may want this specialist if serious dental problems run in the family as well.
Your baby needs so much care from so many people that you may simply overlook the need for routine dental care while they are still so small. However, once your child has teeth coming in, it's time to begin an oral health routine. Find a dentist, like Smile Builders - Robyn Lesser DMD, and spend at least as much time on your child's teeth as you do your own.