Dental care for your baby
First of all, congratulations on the arrival of your little one. The Pediatric Dentistry of New York will be right there to accompany you through the different stages of your child's teeth development, starting from the eruption of your baby's first tooth. Are you ready for this? Our Pediatric dental specialists and team are working hard to help with your children's oral health.
Here are the guidelines according to the recent update of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to help your children to be on the way to a lifetime of healthy, and beautiful smiles!
Caring for Gums
The gum must benefit from careful attention even before your baby's first tooth appears.
To take care of your toddler's gum, gently rub it with a damp, and clean tissue, after every breast- or bottle-feeding. across your baby's gum tissue. This, helps in the elimination of fragments of food in your child's mouth, and begins and building good daily oral hygiene.
Baby's First Tooth
When your child's first tooth appears, it's time to opt for a baby toothbrush. Two options are available :
1. A long-handled toothbrush With this, you and your child baby can hold it at the same time.
2. A finger-puppet toothbrush. This is a silicon finger puppet that fits over the tip of your pointer finger, and can turn the act of toothbrushing your child into a game.
Do not forget to make sure the brush has bristles that are very soft and few.
Toothpaste at this stage isn't necessary. What you should do is dip the brush in water before brushing.
If your little one doesn't react well to toothbrushing, don't be discouraged. Try to switch back to a damp washcloth for a few months, then try the toothbrush again.
Does your child want to chew on just about anything, during toothbrushing ? This is the solution for you. Use a baby toothbrush with a teether during this period.
Brushing with Toothpaste
After a few more teeth appear in your child's mouth, you can start using toothpaste for your child's toothbrushing.
Here, a tiny little amount of fluorinated toothpaste, with size of a grain of rice, is recommended. And, have your baby practice spitting the toothpaste out after brushing, which should not be swallowed at any age.
Avoid giving your baby any sweetened liquids such as soda. Even the sugars present in fruit juice, milk (this goes for breast milk as well) can lead to dental decay, so regular teeth and gum cleaning is necessary.
Don't forget to make sure your baby doesn't go to bed with a bottle of sugary liquids. When prolonged contact with teeth, it may lead to early childhood decay, also called baby-bottle caries.
First Visit to the Dentist
Dentist recommend bringing your baby in for a visit within six months of the first tooth's eruption i.e., around his or her first birthday.
The earlier your child baby visits a dentist, the more likely he or she will avoid dental problems. So make sure to respect every checkup because tooth decay can be present even on the smallest teeth.
During dental visits, and checkups, we'll look for any signs of early dental problems , and check in with you about the best way to care for your little one's teeth.
Remember, every time you prepare for each dental visit with a positive attitude, and mindset, it will make your child comfortable with regular checkups.
Setting a Good Example
Children naturally learn by imitation, so don't hesitate to take advantage of this talent. Brush and floss daily, with and/or in front of your child, and he or she will learn at an early age the importance of your good oral habits. As soon as your child shows interest in toothbrushing, offer him/her a toothbrush (with short handle. It's easy to grip) of his or her own while encouraging your toddler to "brush" with you.
Generally, children can't thoroughly clean their own teeth until they're about six or seven, so you'll have to help them until they are able to do so. Also, try to make brushing fun through different ways, i. e, flavored toothpaste, toothbrush with a favorite character on it, and even singing songs about brushing.
The main goal here is to teach healthy oral habits at an early age, and to set your child up for a healthy, and beautiful smile.