Taking care of your baby and ensuring it is healthy is the ultimate responsibility of any parent or guardian. Even before their first teeth appear, you are supposed to ensure their mouth is clean. You should know a few basic facts about what is best for your child’s teeth so that their permanent teeth are healthy and they do not develop any serious dental issues like gum disease.
If you live in Maryland, you can visit the Silver Spring, MD pediatric dentist for regular dental checkups of your child. Baby teeth require the same amount of care as adult teeth, so you should remember to keep them clean and follow the best oral hygiene practices.
How to keep your baby’s teeth clean
At around 6 months, you will start seeing your baby’s first teeth, which will probably be the central incisors. But make sure you start cleaning their mouths before that. Follow the tips mentioned below.
- As mentioned earlier, your child’s dental care starts even before they get their first set of teeth. You should clean their gums using a clean damp cloth carefully. This is to prevent the buildup of plaque that invites bacteria to thrive.
- As your child’s first set of teeth appears at around 6 months, you should start using a toothbrush on them. Get a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head so that it does not injure your child’s gums.
- Use fluoride toothpaste (nearly a rice grain’s size) as it strengthens the enamel by providing resistance against acid attacks by bacteria in the mouth.
- As your child’s teeth continue to develop, it is important to brush twice a day habitually. Make sure to brush their teeth in the morning and before they sleep at night. This routine will help eliminate any food particles and bacteria that may have accumulated in their mouth. When your child reaches the age of 2 to 3 years old, you can start using a small, pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste during brushing.
- It is best to steer clear of providing your baby with sugary snacks, juices, or drinks. As tempting as they are to make the child stop crying, sugar can greatly contribute to tooth decay. Instead, opt for healthier snack options such as fruits and vegetables. Make sure your baby consumes more water instead of sugary beverages. Water is essential for hydration and helps rinse away food particles and maintain good oral health.
- Avoid letting your baby fall asleep with anything other than water in their bottle. If their teeth are exposed to sugary liquids like formula, milk, or juice for a long time, it leads to tooth decay, also known as baby bottle tooth decay.