DENTAL CARE IS IMPORTANT at all ages, even for babies! Here are some tips on how you can care for your child’s mouth even before their first precious smile.
Good Oral Care Begins Before Teething
Even though your baby’s primary teeth won’t come in until they are around four to seven months old, caring for their gums before teeth come in is important. Even before tooth eruption bacteria can leave behind plaque that can damage teeth as they come in.
To prevent bacteria from adhering to your baby’s gums, gently wipe them down with a soft, moistened washcloth or piece of gauze. Do this at least twice a day, especially after feedings and before bedtime.
Teething Can Be A Difficult Time For Your Baby
When your little one does finally start teething, it’s normal for them to be fussy and irritable. Common symptoms are difficulty sleeping, decrease in appetite and increased drooling. It’s also normal for their temperature to increase slightly when they’re teething, however, high-grade fevers are not normal. If your child seems overly cranky or has a high fever, call your physician.
You Can Keep Your Child Comfortable With These Tips
Your baby may seem inconsolable while teething but here are some things you can do to soothe and ease their pain:
- Massage their gums. The counter pressure of your finger helps ease teething pain.
- Use teething rings or toys. Even a simple chilled washcloth will work. Chewing soothes the baby as counter pressure relieves pain. When chilling toys or rings, remember to refrigerate instead of freeze.
- Relieve pain. Talk to your child’s doctor about pain relief if your little one seems to be having a more difficult time. Appropriate dosage of acetaminophen may be beneficial during especially painful teething episodes. Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine.
Once Teeth Appear, Take Proper Care Of Them
The American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears and no later than their first birthday. Once teeth appear you can also begin brushing. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. Since very young children haven’t yet learned to not swallow toothpaste, use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste or the size of a grain of rice.
We’re Here To Help From The Very Beginning
Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child’s life. We’re here to help you every step of the way! If you have any questions concerning infant oral health care or teething, call or make an appointment with us today. Baby teeth may be small but they’re important!