How to Ensure Good Oral Care for Your Baby
Most babies start getting their first teeth between 6-12 months of age. The bad news is that as soon as the first teeth appear, tooth decay begins. Cavities are difficult for everyone, but more so for infants who can suffer from other infections caused by poor dental health. Dentists on the Gold Coast provides comprehensive tips on how to care for your baby’s teeth during every stage of their early development.
Birth to 6 Months of Age:
The best way to ensure optimal dental health for your baby is to start early! We recommend coming up with a cleaning routine that you can implement early. Always clean your infant’s gums after every feeding using a soft, moist cloth and your index finger. Gently massage the soft gum tissue of the mouth to clean residue left behind by milk and other liquids the baby consumes. Putting the baby to bed with a bottle gives food substances too much time to act on the delicate gums of infants.
Infants begin teething when they are four to six months of age. Gums typically become swollen and saliva flow increases as they become accustomed to their new, growing teeth. Cleaning teeth with a cold, soft cloth can help with inflammation and have a soothing effect.
Dental decay is transmissible and can be avoided. Many parents test the temperature of the bottle with their mouth and inadvertently share utensils with their babies which could lead to the transmission of bacteria from parent to child. It is best to use sterlised utensils which are only reserved for the baby.
6-12 months of age
When teeth begin to show, use an extremely soft bristled brush without toothpaste to massage the gum tissues, providing an added form of cleaning and protection for emerging teeth.
Properly sterilised teething rings play an important role in helping your infant deal with discomfort. Chilling the teething ring before use can have a soothing effect.
By implementing the right dental ritual for an infant from an early age, parents become familiar with the appearance of a child’s gums and teeth. This makes it easier to spot anomalies which can be treated quickly by a qualified paediatric dentist.
18 months to age 5:
By age 3, most toddlers stop using the pacifier and sucking their thumb as primary teeth develop. At this point using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is advisable while also teaching the child to spit it out properly, ensuring the child does not swallow it. It is important to make brushing teeth an engaging, fun process for children so that they develop good habits early and are able to brush unsupervised.
By familiarising your child with good dental care and regular dental check-ups from an early age, you can prevent your child from developing the three biggest fears that keep most people away from the dentist!
At Dentists on the Gold Coast, we believe that it’s never too early to start thinking about safeguarding your baby’s dental health. Learn more about our vision for better dental health for all Australians!