Baby Dental Care for New Parents
Baby dental care is the first step in developing a healthy oral hygiene routine for your child. You can begin just a few months after your baby is born, to help protect their gums and teeth and ensure a healthy smile. To start life off right, it’s important that you take your baby’s dental care seriously. The holistic dental care experts at Prescott Dentistry are here to help with some tips for baby dental care.
Protecting Your Baby’s Gums
Good dental care for children isn’t only about their teeth. Gum care ensures that bacteria and plaque will not threaten your baby’s teeth when they first emerge or cause the early stages of gum disease. Plus, it helps prepare them for the sensations of brushing in the future. Care can begin at about three months of age, to keep baby’s gums healthy until their teeth begin popping in.
Of course, without teeth, you will not need a toothbrush and toothpaste. Instead, we recommend using a soft, moistened washcloth. At least twice a day, you should use a washcloth to carefully and gently wipe your baby’s gums, removing bacteria. Typically, the best times to clean your baby’s gums are in the morning and just before bedtime, similar to how we brush as adults.
Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth
Once your baby’s teeth have started to emerge, you can transition to brushing their teeth. Brushing at an early age helps reinforce the idea that this habit is a normal part of their day. As baby dental care aims to set the foundations for lifelong dental health, it’s important to provide positive impressions of brushing early on. Use a baby toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles to protect your baby’s sensitive gums.
Until around age two, when your child can reliably spit on their own, you should avoid toothpaste—especially toothpaste with fluoride. While fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens teeth against cavities, excess fluoride can cause a condition known as fluorosis if ingested while the permanent teeth are still developing under the gums. Fluorosis can cause miscoloring or even cavities in the most severe and rare cases. As such, it is best to avoid fluoride toothpaste until your child can spit it out, ensuring that they do not swallow it.
Concerned for Your Baby’s Dental Care?
If you have questions about a good dental care routine for your baby, Prescott Dentistry can help. Our holistic dental experts understand that every stage of life presents unique challenges for dental health. They can explain how best to care for your child’s gums and teeth until they’re ready to take charge of brushing. An early childhood dentist visit can help ensure lifelong dental health by familiarizing your child with the dental office. It’s also a good way to ensure that their teeth are growing properly. Contact us today to schedule your baby’s first dentist visit—call 928-445-1660 or make an appointment online.