Taking Care of Your Baby’s Teeth

taking care of your baby’s teeth

The toothless gummy smile gradually transforms into tiny pearly teeth smile of two rows. A child’s teeth can appear anywhere between 6 months to 12 months. Your child’s milk teeth pave way for speaking, smiling, and chewing properly.

You must take care of these teeth from the onset. These small teeth form a platform for adult teeth. Taking care of teeth by cleaning them regularly from the initial stage helps in developing a teeth care routine in the long run.

Starting to brush your child’s teeth:

You would have taken care of the baby’s gums using a moistened washcloth. The cleaning does not involve toothpaste and a brush. A toothbrush is much required when the first tooth sprouts. A few pediatricians however recommend waiting till the child grows 4 teeth in a row. Following are the steps on how you need to begin –

  • Get a soft toothbrush with a small head and a large hand.
  • You can soak the toothbrush in warm water before using it to make the bristles softer.
  • If you are using toothpaste, then use only a size of a grain of rice.
  • Do not go for fluoride toothpaste until your child turns 3 years. It can be used only when the child spits out the toothpaste while brushing.
  • The position of your child while brushing is vital for seamless and hassle-free teeth cleaning. The key is that you should be able to see your baby’s mouth. You can make the babysit on the bed, or in a high chair. Or, place the baby’s head on your lap. The baby should feel comfortable, and you should be able to see the teeth.
  • Hold your baby’s chin with your hands, and lift the lips.
  • Start cleaning the teeth with circular motions gently.
  • Cleaning the teeth involves cleaning the gum line too. Ensure you clean the front and back of every tooth and the entire gum line.
  • Do not forget to rinse the mouth with water after brushing. Also, let the toothbrush dry in a container.

Pro tip: Change your baby’s toothbrush every 3 months even if it is not worn out. At the maximum, you can use it for 4 months.

How to prevent early tooth decay

Even if you perfectly clean the teeth of your baby, it does not mean, tooth decay is not on the cards. Your baby’s diet has a key role to play in preventing tooth decay. Here are things you need to avoid:

  • Do not give foods that are high in sugar content, after you introduce solids.
  • Sugary drinks are a big no for even elder kids.
  • Letting your baby sleep with a bottle of milk lets the teeth soak. This leads to the risk of tooth decay.
  • Do not use a dummy that is coated with sugar or honey. A few parents tend to use dummies that are dipped in such sugary items to calm down the baby.
  • Wean the baby from the bottle and start using a cup when the baby turns 12 months old.
  • Do not let the baby sleep with a pacifier.
  • Gummy foods stick to the teeth for longer periods and can lead to tooth decay.

How to take care of your child’s teeth while teething?

Teething can be nerve-racking for many children and parents as well. Do not opt for teething gels, as they have harmful side effects. Instead, gently rub the gums with your fingers. A teething ring can be used. Low fever, irritation, and drooling are common during teething.

Many parents think that dental visits for kids are not required till their permanent teeth appear or until they turn 3 years old. It is wise to schedule a dental visit once they get a couple of teeth in a row.