How to Protect Your Baby’s Teeth
When is a good time to start paying attention to your baby’s teeth hygiene?
Most parents assume that caring for their baby’s teeth start when the first tooth starts showing.
However, ideally, the care should start a bit earlier than that.
Oral or dental care for your baby’s teeth should start even before his or her first tooth appears.
Just like adults’, your child’s mouth can become a haven of bacteria if you don’t make it a habit to clean your baby’s mouth after they feed.
When Does Dental Hygiene for Babies Start?
A baby’s teeth start to form during the second trimester of pregnancy. Although you can not see it, at birth, your baby has already 20 teeth hiding inside the gums.
So before your baby’s teeth show, what can you do to protect their gums and mouth?
After every feeding, do the following:
Step 1: Prepare a clean cloth or cotton.
Step 2: Damp the cloth or cotton with mineral or distilled water.
Step 3: Run the damp cloth or cotton to his gums to remove the residues and keep away bacteria.
Step 4: Do the same to the tongue. Run the cotton or damp cloth gently until the white fils or residues from the milk disappear.
In addition to cleaning your baby’s mouth after every feed, You need to massage their gums to stimulate tissue growth. Use gels recommended by dentists or pediatricians before to do that.
How to Protect Your Baby’s Teeth: Teething
Teething happens when a baby’s first tooth is about to appear. A baby normally becomes fussy, irritable, and sleepless. They also drool more and might lose appetite.
During this time, your baby may experience sore or tender gums. There are a few things you can do to ease your child’s pain or discomfort.
- Rub your child’s gums with a clean finger or a moist cloth or gauze
- A clean Teething item for your child to chew on might also help. Make sure your child’s teether isn’t liquid-filled or made of plastics that are easily breakable.
- Make sure you have a baby brush that has soft bristles. You can gently run this on your baby’s gums and tongue.
Are numbing gels or creams safe for babies?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the use of benzocaine products for children younger than two. According to the FDA, Benzocaine is associated with a rare but serious condition known as methemoglobinemia. It’s a disorder where the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream is greatly reduced.
“We are also warning that benzocaine oral drug products should only be used in adults and children 2 years and older if they contain certain warnings on the drug label. These products carry serious risks and provide little to no benefits for treating oral pain, including sore gums in infants due to teething.”
How to Protect Your Baby’s First Tooth
After teething and once your child’s tooth appears, it’s time to take up the right habits to protect his/her teeth from tooth decay.
As a parent, there are a few things you have to keep in mind to prevent tooth decay after your child’s first tooth appears.
But first let’s look at the causes of tooth decay
Tooth decay develops when your child’s mouth gets infected by bacteria. This could come from feeding, using spoons and cups, pacifiers or bottles and many other objects that come in contact with your baby’s mouth.
Tooth decay can also happen when your baby’s teeth and gums get exposed to liquids other than water for a long period of time. An example of this is when you put your child to bed with a milk bottle in his/her mouth. The bacteria on their mouth convert the sugar into acid which causes decay.
To prevent tooth decay for babies, remember these protective measures:
- Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle or food in their mouth. This exposes their teeth to sugar.
- Let your child drink lots of water as this cleans the mouth and keeps the bacteria at bay.
- Regularly clean your child’s teeth with a cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Use the toothbrushes in the market that are specifically made for babies.
- In order to prevent accumulation of liquid inside the mouth, never use a pacifier or sippy cup to put your baby to sleep.
- It is recommended to take babies to the dentist by the time they turn one. The dentists can further explain how to help your child have clean teeth.
What Kind of Toothpaste to Use for Babies and Toddlers
Naturally, babies and toddlers cannot use the regular toothpastes made for adults. There are toothpastes now in the market that have ingredients derived from nature like Fresh Aid toothpaste that you can use to clean your baby’s teeth.
Fresh Aid Toothpaste is made of natural ingredients that are safe for the whole family. Try it in Mojito and Spearmint flavors.