Is your baby teething or has the first tooth started to show? You and your child may both be going through some pain and suffering with this important milestone, you can start a healthy dental care routine that help your child have healthy baby teeth and permanent teeth even if the first tooth has not shown up yet.
5 Tips on Baby Tooth Care
- Start cleaning your baby’s gums after each feeding. To rid your baby’s mouth of food and plaque, you can wrap a damp piece of gauze around your finger or use a warm, wet washcloth. You can use baby gum wipes or a finger toothbrush. This will not only help to start a daily oral health care routine, but also will help to stimulate your baby’s gums. If a baby starts to mouth and drool on things, you can keep a damp cloth nearby to wipe her chin. This will prevent rashes and irritation. Wearing a bib will also help your child keep dry. Usually, the first two teeth come in at the bottom and baby teeth typically come in pairs (with the next pair coming in on top).
- In between teeth coming in, teething will be an issue. Teething can be tough on a baby, especially when the first teeth come in. Teething can start as soon as 4 months old and can go into 3 years old. You can use chilled teething rings, since the coldness will numb the gums and provide some pain relief. A cold washcloth rubbed over gums can also be of help. There are also toothbrush teethers that a baby can use herself. If teething gets to be too painful for your baby (e.g. running a slight fever), ask your pediatrician about using an appropriate pain reliever.
- Start to take care of the baby teeth when they come in. Just because they are baby teeth, this does not mean that they are not important. Baby teeth help with spacing the permanent teeth, as well as with chewing and talking. If baby teeth are not properly taken care of, then tooth decay will set in. Tooth decay can cause gingivitis which can impact how permanent teeth can be spaced. To prevent cavities, do not leave your baby with a bottle of milk or juice in bed. Fluoride, by drinking tap water, can also help prevent cavities.
- Once all the baby teeth have come in, it’s time to brush with toothpaste. At age 2, use a small amount of toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice. Teeth should be brushed twice a day.
- Schedule your baby’s first dental exam. According to both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, your child should have her first dental exam by age 1 or by the time the first tooth appears.
East Brunswick Pediatric Dentistry wants to help your baby start a good dental routine and have a beautiful smile for life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.