Learn How Infant Dental Care Can Lay the Foundation for Your Child's Oral Health
With a new baby on board, you've probably thought a great deal about the care he or she will need. But have you thought about proper newborn and infant dental care yet? These guidelines, provided by our Woodinville pediatric dental care team, will get you started and provide you with everything you need to know along the way.
Step 1: Caring for Gums
Proper dental care for your baby gets started before teeth arrive. You need to take care of and clean the gums to maintain their healthiness. After feeding, wrap one finger in a cool, clean, and damp washcloth or piece of gauze, and just gently rub it across the gum's to clear away food particles.
Step 2: First Tooth
When a baby gets a new tooth, that's a major milestone! Now it's time to take care of it, and it's time to switch to the first toothbrush. Buy a soft-bristled, small-head toothbrush. You may also want a small finger-brush to use as you get started. You won't need toothpaste yet, just make the brush wet and gently brush that lone tooth to clean it off after feeding. Teething rings or toys can also do some of the cleaning for you.
Step 3: More Teeth, and Toothpaste
With a few teeth breaking ground, it's time to introduce toothpaste. However, it's very important to avoid fluoride toothpastes for the first two years, unless advised otherwise. And just use a very small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Be sure to introduce your child to rinsing and spitting out toothpaste after brushing.
Step 4: First Dental Visit
We recommend that your first dental visit occurs right after the first tooth appears. Generally though, within six months of that first tooth, or by the age of one, the first visit should take place. It's a quick process, as much for us to take a once over as to provide you with more information, and acclimate your child to an easygoing, stress-free dental process.
Step 5: Avoiding Cavities and Ongoing Care
Avoid providing your baby with sweetened juices or soda, and avoid sugary treats. Even allowing your baby to go to bed with a bottle can lead to decay.
Beyond that, at this stage, it's hugely important to simply set a good example and establish proper oral hygiene habits from the start. Allow your child to see you brushing and flossing, and introduce the concepts to them. Try to make it fun and keep it positive, and establish a regular routine that will set the right precedents and habits for a lifetime.
Feel free to browse the rest of this section of our website, which also includes pediatric dentistry information and frequently asked questions to provide you with all of the facts and details you need. And as always, don't hesitate to call the team at Signature Smiles with any lingering questions or concerns.