Congratulations on the birth of your son or daughter. In-between feedings and changing diapers, you probably haven’t thought too much about dental care, but oral health is an important aspect of your growing baby’s life. At Flanders Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Flanders, New Jersey, the team regularly provides tips, insights, and dental care for babies. To request a dental care for baby appointment, call the office or click the online booking tool today.
Even if your baby doesn’t have teeth, you should still pay careful attention to their gums. After bottle or breastfeeding, Flanders Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics recommends wrapping your index finger with a clean, damp washcloth and carefully rubbing it across your baby’s gum tissue.
This helps clear out any remaining liquid and also lays a foundation for good oral health practices.
Once your baby’s first tooth breaks through their gum line, it’s time to transition from a wet washcloth to a baby toothbrush.
There are two different types of baby toothbrush: long brushes that allow you and your baby to hold the handle at the same time, and finger brushes that mimic a puppet and fit over your index finger. Both types of baby toothbrushes feature soft bristles specifically designed for your baby’s teeth and gums.
If your baby has only one or two teeth, toothpaste isn’t necessary. Instead, dip the brush in tap water and then gently bring it to your child’s mouth.
If your baby cries or bats the toothbrush away, that’s okay. Transition back to a wet washcloth for a few weeks, and then try reintroducing the toothbrush later on.
As your baby develops more teeth, they start chewing on everything. You might want to consider investing in a baby toothbrush that also features a teething tool.
After your child has four or five teeth, it’s okay to introduce toothpaste. However, you should use a toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride unless your Flanders Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics provider recommends otherwise. This is because too much fluoride may pose health risks to young children.
Start out using a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste. After gently brushing your little one’s teeth, have them spit it out. Your baby may end up swallowing some toothpaste but try and avoid this if at all possible.
The easiest way to lower your child’s risk of cavities is to avoid sugary beverages like soda, Koolaid, and fruit juices.
Even formulas and breast milk have some sugar, so it’s important to monitor your baby when they’re using a bottle. In addition, make sure your baby doesn’t go to bed with a bottle. Prolonged exposure to sugars increases their risk of baby bottle caries.
If you want to learn more about dental care for baby, make an appointment by calling Flanders Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics or use the online booking tool today.