Kid Care: What You Should Be Doing For Your Baby’s First Set Of Teeth

What You Should Be Doing For Your Baby's First Set Of Teeth - Castle Rock

Some people have the idea that because primary teeth are eventually replaced, those teeth can go through a bit more neglect than permanent teeth. However, to set your child up for success, our dentists at Castle Rock Dental are here to tell you just how you can best take care of your baby’s first set of teeth.

Oral Care Starts Before The First Tooth

Many first-time parents are surprised to find out that proper dental care for infants starts long before the first tooth erupts.

For one thing, you can start acclimating your baby to the feeling of teeth brushing by cleaning their gums with wet gauze after they have finished either nursing or drinking a bottle of formula. Not only does this help your baby become used to oral cleaning before their teeth start erupting, but you can keep an eye on how things are developing in their mouths.

Once teeth start coming out, there are some other oral care steps you can take to care for your infant’s teeth.

  • Take out bottles and pacifiers – Bottles with formula or other liquids as well as pacifiers dipped with honey or sugar can lead to baby bottle tooth decay. This decay is caused by prolonged contact with sugars, which can decay baby teeth and cause malocclusion (teeth misalignment).
  • Avoid spreading oral bacteria – Many adults have a strain of oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which can lead to greater cavity development since the bacteria eats leftover sugar on the teeth and excretes acid. This acid can damage the enamel of the teeth and leaves them prone to tooth decay and cavities. However, babies aren’t born with this type of bacteria, and it can only be transferred to them by a caregiver or parent. To avoid this, it is best to avoid kissing a baby on the lips or sharing a utensil with them.
  • Start gentle brushing – Using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny smear of toothpaste, start brushing your child’s teeth once the first tooth erupts. Also, it is best to using toothpaste with fluoride, as it can help protect your children’s developing teeth from decay. As young children generally can’t spit on demand, it is best to use no more than a rice-sized amount of toothpaste.

Set Good Dental Hygiene Habits Early

Along with good oral care for infants, young children need quite a bit of help from their parents to learn ideal dental hygiene practices. Some of the essential things parents can do to help their children maintain their baby teeth and develop lifelong dental hygiene are:

  • Brush children’s teeth until about 4-5 years old – Young children often lack the motor skills to properly brush their own teeth. It is best if parents take care of the brushing until their children are 4-5 years old, though you can certainly let them start trying to brush, as it will help them develop the right motor skills.
  • Supervise brushing until about 8 years old – Even once a child has graduated to brushing their own teeth, it is important that they are supervised for a few years, until about 8 years old. Not only will this supervision help parents ensure that the teeth brushing is done correctly, but that it is done at all.
  • Help children with flossing – Flossing teeth can be tough for some adults to do regularly, so it is important that parents help children learn how to floss. There are different types of flossing tools that can help make flossing easier, so you may want to look into them to help your children.
  • Start biannual dental visits early – Six months after your child’s first tooth erupts, or by the time your child is a year old, you should start taking them to the dentist. Not only will that help your child become less anxious about dental visits, but by working with our dentists early, they can ensure that issues are caught early.
  • Assist your child in ceasing thumb-sucking – Prolonged thumb-sucking can lead to protruding teeth and misaligned teeth. It is best if you start working with your child as early as possible on deterring any thumb-sucking habit or prolonged pacifier use.

Visit Castle Rock Dental With The Whole Family

Part of what makes visiting the dentist less intimidating for children is when the whole family can go in together. Our dentists work on dental patients of all ages and can help your child feel comfortable during their dental cleaning.

To set up dental appointments for the whole family, contact us. Our dentists are ready to help you and your children have the best oral care possible.

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