You may be wondering how to best take care of your newborn baby’s oral health. But how do you help them practice oral hygiene at such a young age? Here, we’ll explain how to properly clean your baby’s gums and teeth.
- Wipe Their Gums
- Brush Their Teeth
- Keep Baby Bottle Tooth Decay at Bay
- Visit Us at Toothology Dental
Banish any early chance of oral health issues for your baby by daily wiping off their gums! By wiping your baby’s gums every day, you remove any bacteria that might be lingering on their gums. If left there, this bacteria could lead to plaque accumulation on your baby’s gums, which in turn could develop into gum disease. You don’t have to wait for their teeth to come in to start wiping your baby’s gums; you should start as soon as you can. To clean your baby’s gums, dampen a washcloth or gauze with water, wrap it around your pointer finger, and gently rub it along your baby’s gums in a controlled manner at least once a day, particularly before bed or after they’ve been fed.
Your baby’s teeth should start erupting through the surface of their gums when they’re about six months old. As soon as you see a baby tooth, incorporate daily brushing into their oral care routine. Find a baby’s toothbrush that is soft and has a small head and a large handle. Brush their teeth gently and in circular motions using only a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, because your baby won’t be able to spit out the toothpaste yet. Furthermore, as soon as your baby has two teeth that touch, begin flossing between their teeth.
Another way to ensure that your baby’s teeth and gums stay clean is by watching out for “baby bottle tooth decay”. This happens when any liquids other than water, such as formula or breast milk, are left in your child’s mouth for a long time, like if they fall asleep drinking their bottle. Constant exposure to these liquids will dissolve your child’s tooth enamel very quickly so it’s vital to not put your child to bed with a bottle or let them walk around all day with a bottle. As mentioned, wipe their gums after feedings, and be sure to brush their teeth twice a day.
Finally, it’s important to take your baby to the dentist by their first birthday. We will evaluate their teeth, discuss their oral care routine with you, and answer all your dental-related questions. If your baby’s first tooth has erupted, contact us to schedule your child’s first checkup!