Dr. Vikrant Kundu

BDS (Hons)
MDS ( Orthodontics )
CAIC ( Implantology Korea )
ADIC ( Implantology Israel )
CHIEF MENTOR, Mirell International

Guide for Babies Dental Care

Soon after birth, caring for baby’s dental parts is a major concern for most parents. To ensure healthy teeth, and gums as well as strong jaw bones; parents must start taking care of their child’s dental parts, right at the beginning. Here are the most common ways to do so:

How to care for gums?

Prior to the appearance of the first tooth, it’s important to take proper care of gums. After breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, mothers can wrap one finger with a clean and damp washcloth or a piece of gauge, and rub it gently across the gum tissue of the kid. With this, baby’s mouth gets cleared from any food fragments and the kid gets adapted to good dental habits.

How to deal with baby’s first tooth?

When the first tooth is seen, parents must start using a baby toothbrush. These toothbrushes are available in two options: a long-handled brush and a finger puppet brush. The long-handled brush can be used both by the child and the parent, at the same time. The finger puppet brush easily fits over the tip of the pointed finger. Each of these brushes has soft and few bristles, catering to baby teeth.

With the first tooth appearance, toothpaste is not that essential. Parents can simply dip the brush in water and then brush their baby’s tooth. Often babies give negative reactions to brushing, or the use of toothpaste; parents must nonetheless brush their tooth. In case if this persists for longer time, parents can switch back to damp washcloth or wet tissue and then move to toothbrush. While teething, babies have the tendency to chew on anything, therefore parents must look for a baby toothbrush, having a teether. The teether is often a favorite toy, of most babies.

When to start brushing with toothpaste?

As few teeth start appearing in the baby, parents should use toothpaste while brushing their kid’s teeth. Only a little amount should be used, right at the beginning. Parents must also make their child spit out the toothpaste, after brushing. It makes babies habituated with regular brushing and prevents swallowing of toothpaste.

Till two years of age, parents should look for toothpaste, without any fluoride. It is because kids have the tendency to swallow their toothpaste and swallowing fluoride shall affect their stomach and dental health by bringing stain in teeth. By making infants spit out toothpaste, parents regularize their habit, as they switch over to fluoride toothpastes.

How to avoid cavities?

Firstly, parents should avoid giving any sort of sweetened liquids like soda or flavored drinks to their kids. Sugary food must be restricted. The amount of sugar present in fruit juices, formula, and milk (including breast milk) can also result in potential tooth decay. Therefore, regular cleaning and brushing teeth and gum are vital.

Secondly, parents should ensure that their child never goes to bed, with a bottle. Sugary liquids, when in contact with the baby’s teeth, for prolonged hours, can cause tooth decay and infections at early childhood.

When to take infants for their first dental visit?

Babies should be taken for their first dental visit, within six months of their first tooth. If no tooth appears by then, parents must fix an appointment, by the first birthday. Since tooth decay can occur even at the smallest teeth, therefore parents should act sharp and immediately contact their child’s dentist, within one year of age.

During the first visit, the dentists monitor the overall oral health of the baby. They also look for potential symptoms, of any and recommend suitable oral care and dental hygiene for good dental health, in the long run. At the same time, parents should maintain a positive attitude to make their kids feel comfortable and pleasant.

Best Practices for Parents

Babies, being expert mimics, learn naturally. Parents must brush their kid’s teeth while they are into something- either watching cartoons, or playing games. Inculcating good dental habits, from an early age will make babies familiarize with the process. As and when babies show interest in brushing, parents can encourage their kids to hold the handle and brush with them. While brushing, parents sing songs, use flavored toothpaste or divert their mood, to complete cleaning and brushing successfully.

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