Many new parents falsely assume that oral care doesn’t start until their baby cuts teeth. This is an unfortunate mistake. The truth is, infants have other oral structures to care for and how well you do this can influence their future smile. Believe it or not, your baby started growing teeth in the womb – they just haven’t emerged yet. Ignoring your baby’s oral hygiene can lead to complications within both their primary and permanent teeth.
Here are some general rules for caring for your baby’s mouth from the start:
DO Clean Their Mouth Gently: Use a damp cloth to softly wipe down the gums and massage them in a circular motion.
DO Keep a Healthy Diet: The mouth deserves rich nutrients just as much as the body. Furthermore, sweet drinks and treats that are high in sugar and starch are what bacteria feed on.
DO Help with Teething: Your baby will want to chew on anything they can during teething. To avoid inviting unwanted germs in the mouth, be sure to buy teething toys that double as a cleaner, and make sure they are sanitized properly.
DON’T Put Your Baby To Bed with a Bottle: Whether it is formula, breast milk or fruit juice, a bottle in bed is one of the worst mistakes you can make for your baby’s growing smile.
DON’T Let Thumb-sucking and Pacifiers Continue Past Age 2-3: Ask your dentist about ways to break this self-soothing habit before it affects their bite and speech development.
DON’T Assume Baby Teeth Don’t Matter: The health of baby teeth can affect the health and eruption of the adult teeth behind them. Baby teeth hold the place for adult teeth and offer valued roles in chewing and speech development.
DON’T Miss Routine Dental Visits:Your baby’s first visit will be quick and painless, but it serves a critical purpose in helping your child get comfortable and acquainted with professional dental care.
At Gilreath Dental, we care about dental health at every stage of life – including infancy or when the primary teeth are just beginning to emerge. Be sure to schedule your child’s first dental visit with us by the age of 1, or within six months of the first tooth coming in. You’ll be surprised at what your baby’s oral care should include even when they are only flashing a gummy smile!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,