At MD Moms, we know the importance of teaching our children good hygiene habits from a young age. Caring for your baby’s teeth is essential because these teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent teeth. If not cared for properly, your child can develop cavities or gingivitis, and can even have trouble chewing or talking as they grow older.
Here are some important tips when caring for your child’s teeth:
- Even before the first tooth pops up, you should be cleaning for your baby’s gums to make sure that no bacteria can damage their incoming teeth. Wipe their gums with a warm, damp washcloth or dampened piece of gauze twice a day, or after feeding.
- When the first tooth pokes through, you can start brushing using a clean washcloth and soft finger toothbrush. Gently brush child’s baby teeth, including the front and back.
- Schedule your baby’s first dentist appointment after their first birthday. The American Dental Association suggests that babies get their first dental exam after their first tooth appears, but before their first birthday.
- Avoid sending infants to sleep with milk or juice in their bottle, as these can easily cause cavities. If they use the bottle for comfort, fill it with water. Encourage your baby to drink water after meals to help wash away any food excess.
- When your child is ready for a toothbrush, get a soft-bristled one with a small head and large handle. Use a fluoride-free toothpaste. You only need to use a dab about the same size of a grain of rice!
Parents.com has a great tutorial video for how to brush your baby’s teeth- view it here.
Showing your child the importance of dental hygiene when they are young will lay the foundation for lifelong good habits. To encourage brushing, show your children how you brush your teeth and reward their good brushing habits with a colorful or character-themed toothbrush! Encouraging good teeth brushing techniques will ensure their smile will be beautiful and healthy for the rest of their lives 🙂