1.Start Before Baby's Teeth Come In (GUMs)Start cleaning your child's mouth even before her teeth come in. Wipe the gums off after each feeding with a warm, wet washcloth or a dampened piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. You can also buy thimble-like, soft rubbery devices (they fit over your index finger) to use for rubbing off excess food.Instead, take these steps:
- Get a soft, moistened washcloth or piece of gauze.
- Gently wipe down your baby's gums at least twice a day.
- Especially wipe your baby's gums after feedings and before bedtime.
This will wash off bacteria and prevent them from clinging to gums. Bacteria can leave behind a sticky plaque that damages infant teeth as they come in.
2.Brushing Baby's Teeth
When the first baby teeth start to pop up, you can graduate to a toothbrush. Choose one with a:
- soft brush
- small head
- large handle
At first, just wet the toothbrush. As soon as teeth erupt, you can start using a bit about the size of a grain of rice. You can increase this to a peas sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when your child is 3 years old. Brush gently all around your child's baby teeth -- front and back.
You should brush your baby's teeth until he or she is old enough to hold the brush. Continue to supervise the process until your child can rinse and spit without assistance. That usually happens at around age 6.
Keep on the lookout for any signs of baby tooth decay -- brown or white spots or pits on the teeth. If you or your pediatrician notices any problems, take your child to a pediatric dentist for an exam.
Even if there isn't a problem, your child should go for his or her first dentist visit by age 1.According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and many other dental authorities across the world, the answer is yes - failing this, you should certainly take him for a dental check-up at some point during his first year.
This gives your baby's dentist an opportunity to spot potential problems at an early stage and also to decide upon a good prevention program. Plus, it helps get your baby accustomed to the sights and sounds of the dentist's office and can prevent him becoming anxious about dental visits in the future.
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