Three Tips for Caring for Baby's Teeth
Did you know that babies are born with teeth? Although you can't see them, teeth form during the second trimester of pregnancy, which means your baby had a full set of teeth at birth. According to Kid's Health, teeth, regardless of whether or not they have broken through the gums, need proper care in order to stay healthy. Here are three things we want you to do before your baby's pearly whites come in.
CLEAN GUMS DAILY
From day one, you should massage your baby's gums with a warm, damp washcloth. For the first couple of months, warm water will work just fine. However, we encourage you to put a teeny amount of children's toothpaste on the washcloth from a few months of age up to the age of 2. After the age of 2, you will move on to brushing with a small amount of toothpaste.
AVOID BAD HABITS
Tooth decay can happen very early in life. Therefore, it's vital that you avoid bad habits that can harm your child's teeth. Never allow your child to continuously suck on a bottle throughout the day or take one to bed at night. Doing so leaves a constant film of sugar and bacteria on the gums and teeth that can cause cavities and pitting. If you decide to give your baby a bottle at bedtime, we recommend water versus juice.
CARE FOR ERUPTING TEETH
Once you start to see teeth popping through, you must take care of them properly to prevent cavities. Brush your child's teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled brush covered with a small amount of children's toothpaste. Since young children aren't very adept at cleaning their own teeth, we recommend that you brush your child's teeth, or at least supervise them, until the age of 5.
In addition to following all of these care tips, we encourage you to make an appointment with us early on in your child's life. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking little ones to the dentist as soon as their first teeth erupt or by the age of 1, depending on which happens first.