As a new parent there are several things to worry about. Is your baby eating enough? Are they getting enough sleep? Do they cry too much? Are they healthy? But when your child reaches a few months old, you start to get the hang of things. They get on a sleep schedule. You can better tell when they're hungry. And you aren't going to the doctor every other day because you think something might be wrong. And then they start teething. This opens up a whole new array of questions. Here are the answers to your most pressing questions about keeping your baby's teeth clean and healthy for years to come.
When to start brushing: Before your new baby even has teeth, it's a good idea to take a clean, wet washcloth and brush over their gums. This will remove any bacteria that can get into the gums where their teeth will soon be breaking through. You can start as early as day one, but the most important times are after feedings and before bedtime.
When to purchase a toothbrush: Once your little one finally has a tooth break through, it's time to invest in a toothbrush and toothpaste. Be sure to get an infant toothbrush because they have soft bristles for those sensitive gums. Brush twice a day just like you would your own teeth.
What type of toothpaste to use: Be sure to buy fluoride-free toothpaste until your child is at least two so you don't have to worry about them swallowing it, and use a very small amount. Don't switch to fluoride toothpaste until they are old enough to spit and rinse without swallowing, and continue to supervise until around the age of six.
When to visit the dentist: As soon as your baby starts getting teeth you should take them to the dentist (like those at Bite Dental Works). The dentist will examine and clean your baby's teeth as well as further instruct you on how to take care of them.
How to care for baby's teeth: Aside from brushing, there are a few other things you can do to prevent cavities and tooth decay. The most important one is to cut out sugar. That includes juices. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle because the milk or juice will sit in their mouth increasing the chances of tooth decay. Make sure your baby is eating a healthy, balanced diet so that they are getting all of the vitamins they need to grow healthy, strong teeth. When you're shopping, look for sugar-free baby foods. The less processed a food is the better it will be for them.
Caring for your baby's teeth isn't as hard as it may sound. Just follow these five simple steps and enjoy this stage of watching your baby grow into a healthy, happy child.