Parents should be made aware of the importance of infant oral hygiene. They need to understand that being proactive in preventing dental problems and promoting oral health must start as soon as their baby is born.
Infant Oral Hygiene
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is advisable to start cleaning an infant's mouth even before his teeth starts to come out. If you have an infant, you can clean his mouth through the following steps:
- Use a clean damp washcloth or a gauze and wrap it around your index finger.
- You then gently wipe your infant's gums.
This procedure will help get rid of bacteria that may form in their mouth. This is also a technique which will help them become familiar with the routine of dental care. It is also advisable to bring your child to a reputable pediatric dentist when he is about 12-18 months old.
During the first visit, the dentist will conduct a complete set of exams then provide proper recommendations for diet choices as well as the correct type of toothbrush and toothpaste. You must remember that your child's first dental visit must not be later than when all 20 primary teeth have erupted.
What To Do When Your Baby's Teeth Starts To Come Out
Avoid letting sweetened juice or liquids stay on your child's teeth for a long time. Remember that the sugar found in the fruit juice or milk can contribute to dental decay. With that said, you must minimize the period of time that the bottle or sippy cup is in your child's mouth. In addition, you must remember to clean your baby's teeth and mouth before they fall asleep. This is because the sugar in their mouth can turn into bacteria which can lead to tooth decay.
Discontinue nursing or remove the bottle from your toddler's mouth when he falls asleep during feeding.
Avoid using sippy cups if possible. Although this type of cup helps prevent spillage, they can promote cavities much sooner and they may cause your toddler's teeth to flare out.
Do not let your child sleep with a bottle filled with fruit juice or milk. If your baby can't get to sleep without a bottle, replace milk with water. You can also replace the bedtime bottle with a stuffed animal or blanket.
These are just a few helpful tips to promote good oral hygiene in infants and toddlers. These tips will help provide healthier teeth and gums for your child which will benefit them in the future.