Caring For Baby's Teeth

The teeth are one of the most important components of the human body, and it is never too early to start caring for your child's teeth. Not only do humans rely on them to eat healthy foods; they rely on them for self-confidence. Beginning early can help ensure your child has excellent health and develops good dental hygiene. Here is what you need to know about caring for your child's teeth.

Dental Care Begins At Birth

Most people think they don't need to worry about their child's teeth until their first or even second birthday. This couldn't be further from the truth. The moment your child is born, you should be tending to their mouth. When they are done feeding, whether it is a bottle or the breast, you should use a warm washcloth to wipe and massage their gums.

They should never go to bed with a bottle, as tempting as this may be. You also don't want to share utensils with your child once they begin eating solid foods. This will transfer the bacteria from your mouth to theirs, and bacteria is one of the things that leads to cavities.

Dental Care When Their Teeth Start Coming In

When they begin teething around 3-6 months, don't give them Popsicles or other sugary, frozen confections. Instead, give them a teether specifically made for this purpose. Continue using a warm washcloth to wipe their gums, but when the first tooth emerges, starting using a baby toothbrush to brush the tooth. Don't use toothpaste. Using a toothbrush will get the child used to a toothbrush and begin developing the habit.

When they are about 9 months of age, introduce the sippy cup. This should only have water, breastmilk, or formula. Do not give them sugary drinks. If you give them juice, dilute it with water as the acid can be hard on their enamel.

When Should The Child See The Dentist For The First Time?

If there are any signs of problems, schedule their first dental appointment with a family dentist, like those at Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D., when they reach their first birthday. Barring any issues, not much is done at this initial appointment. The dentist will inspect their teeth, gums, mouth, and bite, looking for any current or potential future problems. The visit will also acclimate the child to visiting the dentist, which can help to avoid fear in the future. Your family dentist will instruct you on how often to bring them in, when you should begin using toothpaste, and when their first appointment should be made with the dental hygienist.