There is nothing as good as your baby having strong teeth right from when they start growing. To achieve this, you should start taking care of the teeth right from when they start growing.
Healthy teeth are essential to your baby’s health because they help her to form sounds and words as she speaks and they also help your baby to chew food, which is important in digestion. It is therefore very important that as a parent, you help in making sure that your kid’s teeth are well taken care of. You don’t want her to blame you for her teeth problems in the future, don’t you? Here are some important factors that you should consider when watching out for your baby’s teeth.
When does teething start?
For most babies, teeth appear first when they are at the age of between four to seven months. Drooling and chewing on things are indicators that your baby is teething. The two teeth at the bottom front appear first.
What to do when your baby starts teething
Teething always makes babies fussy and uncomfortable although it is painless. In case your baby develops fever when she is teething, consult your doctor. To ease her discomfort you can help her by;
- Providing a teething ring or a washcloth to suck on or chew on. Whichever you choose should be cold.
- Using your clean finger, you can rub on her or his gum.
- Consult your doctor to inquire if you can use infant acetaminophen to ease her discomfort. Aspirin causes Reye’s syndrome which is a serious fatal condition. This disqualifies aspirin from being a suitable medicine to relieve your baby’s discomfort as he or she is teething.
Note: If you intend to use teething gels, seek your doctor’s opinion first before doing so.
Does teething affect breastfeeding or use of bottles and Sippy cups?
Teething barely affects breastfeeding, and so you should not stop breastfeeding your baby because she is teething. She can still continue using a baby bottle but always make sure that you hold her when she is feeding.
Avoid leaving the feeding bottle or a Sippy cup of milk or juice in the baby’s crib and don’t let her fall asleep as she holds the bottle. The primary reason behind this is that the milk can pool in her mouth, thus leading to tooth decay in the long run. The appropriate age when your baby should start using a baby bottle is when she is six months old, and she should stop using it at the age of one year.
When your child attains the age of one year, feed her with plain milk or water preferably compared to other drinks in between meals. Considering that flavored milk and juice are quite sugary, you should give them to your baby only with meals.
At what age should you start brushing your baby’s teeth?
Immediately the first tooth appears, clean your baby’s teeth and gum at least twice a day using a gauze or a wet washcloth. For a start, use some of the baby toothbrushes which have soft bristles and a little amount of toothpaste which has no fluoride in it. This toothpaste would cause no harm to your baby if he or she accidentally swallowed it. Do this until your baby is at the age of about two and a half years.
At what age should you take your baby to see the dentist?
After her first birthday, take your baby to the dentist to avoid any possible risk of cavities or any other problems her teeth are prone to. You had better prevent the problem before it occurs.
Here are some tips for baby tooth care:
1. Start before the baby’s teeth start growing
Even before your baby’s teeth start growing, you should start cleaning her mouth. Wrap a damp piece of cloth or a gauze around your finger and wipe off the gums after you have fed your baby. You can purchase a rubber device which is soft and has a thimble-like device which you can use to rub off excess food from your baby’s gum.
2. Take care of the teeth immediately they start growing
The first set of baby’s teeth is important. Many parents have the perception that the milk teeth are not important because they are shed and replaced by permanent teeth. What you need to know is that if your baby’s teeth are not well taken care of, they are prone to decay which causes gingivitis, a gum infection. Gingivitis causes problems in spacing permanent teeth.
3. Avoid cavities
Minor pitting and discoloration are the initial indicators of cavities in baby teeth. To prevent cavities in babies, do not put them to bed with their milk bottles and do not leave them with the bottle for longer periods of time especially when she is using the bottle for comfort.
4. Use toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth at the age of 2 years
Start brushing your baby’s teeth when she is 2 years old when her first set of teeth has developed. Use a little amount of toothpaste with fluoride, probably like a grain of rice. Brush the baby’s teeth at least twice per day.
5. Regulate your baby’s fluoride intake
Fluoride is important in preventing your baby’s tooth decay. Even when you brush your baby’s teeth with fluoride free toothpaste, ensure that he or she gets some fluoride by drinking tap water. Inquire from your doctor the fluoride supplements your baby needs at the age of 6 months.
6. Always schedule dental examination for your baby
There is a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association that your baby gets her or his first dental exam at the age of 1 year or immediately her first tooth emerges. Try as much as possible to adhere to this recommendation to make sure your baby’s teeth are always strong and healthy.
To establish proper dental habits for your baby years to come, you should take care of her first set of pearl white milk teeth. We always want the best for our babies and therefore it is upon us to help them have healthy teeth. If you have been wondering how to go about taking care of your baby’s teeth, your wonders should have ceased already because everything has been well elaborated. I hope you now know the right way to take care of and maintain your baby’s teeth to be always healthy. Leave a comment and ask any question where you need clarification.