Many parents do not realize just how important it is to be aware of their baby’s teeth and the dental care that comes with teething. Taking care of baby teeth may be difficult, simply because of the age of the child. It is hard to get a small baby to open their mouth when they are determined to keep it closed. It is important to make sure your dental care routine starts early in your child’s life. Starting out early is a great way to get your child used to, and comfortable with a good dental hygiene routine.
While caring for and brushing your baby’s teeth can’t start until his teeth begin to grow in, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be providing a good oral health routine. Before the baby’s teeth start growing in, you should use a damp washcloth to help get rid of any milk residue from his or her gums. This will also help get him or her used to having your fingers, or a toothbrush, in their mouth.
After the teeth have started to grow in, it is necessary to brush them lightly two times a day. Lightly brush the toothbrush over the teeth, and on the gums. You can get a special baby toothbrush that has very soft bristles. It is important to make sure that you have a soft bristled brush as their teeth and gums aren’t as strong as adult teeth. Even though these teeth will eventually fall out, it is important to brush them so that bacteria that gathers from food and drinks will be washed away. If you do not brush, the bacteria can eat away at the enamel on the baby’s teeth. Baby toothpaste is also available. Because babies are not able to spit out the toothpaste after you brush their teeth, getting the right amount of toothpaste is important. The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry states that children under the age of two years should only use a very small smear of toothpaste.
If your baby is resistant to the brushing there are a couple of tricks to try. First try mimicking what you will be doing, put the brush in your mouth and pretend to brush. This may lead to them copying what you are doing, and opening their mouth. Other tips include pretending to sing with your mouth open wide, or trying to get them to laugh. The actual brushing should be fairly quick and gentle.