September 6, 2016
Parenting can be summed up as a series of triumphs and panics:
“Yay, we’re pregnant!…now what do we do?!”
“They’ve learned to walk! No no no, come back here!”
“They’ve just gotten their first tooth! Do we need to see the dentist?”
Every little bit of progress brings question, and this is the same when it comes to your baby’s oral health. What should you do before they have their first tooth? What about after? The Bergenfield dentist gives you tips on how to take care of your infant.
Starting on the Right Foot
Parents want their baby to start off in the best way possible when it comes to everything, and that includes oral health. When it comes to their first dentist visit, the American Dental Association has a simple rule to follow, “First visit by first birthday.” Whether your child has their first tooth by this time or not, they should definitely see the dentist before they turn 1. This will enable us to see how your child’s teeth are developing and potentially head off any issues that may come up in the future. If you wait a long time before taking your child to the dentist, they may develop a dental problem that requires much more invasive and expensive treatment. It’s much easier and more comfortable for your child if you take them in early.
Simple Tips for Infant Care
An infant’s oral care starts with your own. Consistently brushing and flossing your teeth not only models the type of behavior you want them to eventually emulate, but it also eliminates the chances of you transferring bacteria to them while they are at their most sensitive. Before your child has teeth you should clean their gums at least twice a day. This is best done by wetting a soft piece of cloth or gauze and putting it around your finger. Be sure to wipe all of the surfaces in your baby’s mouth, including the cheeks, tongue, and towards the back. Try to not let your baby fall asleep with a bottle it their mouth as well, as this can allow bacteria to build up for an extended period of time. Once the first tooth has come in, your job is done! Just kidding, you should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first one has erupted. Take special care to use a soft bristled brush specially designed for children. Non-fluoride toothpaste is also important because exposure to too much fluoride can be unhealthy for children. You can ask us for recommendations on products for your child.
Let Us Help
You, as well as your baby, should come see us for regular check-ups at least twice a year. This will help ensure their teeth are developing correctly, as well as keep them healthy. You want to see your baby smile as much they can, so help keep it healthy as they grow and make an appointment with us today.
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