Recording baby milestones is what some parents love to do. They will even be glad when they spot that first little tooth bud erupting from under their child’s gums. More than just recording this life event, however, parents should do more when they notice little teeth growing in. According to dentists, baby teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth and a child without a healthy set of baby teeth will have difficulty speaking and chewing. So, parents should take care to keep their baby’s teeth healthy and decay-free.
Caring for Baby’s Gums
Taking care of baby’s gums is easy and it does not require toothpaste and a toothbrush. Instead, parents can use a clean, soft, moistened washcloth to wipe baby’s gums after meals and before bedtime. This will get rid of the bacteria and stop them from sticking to the gums and forming a sticky plaque which may damage developing infant teeth.
Brushing Baby’s Teeth
Parents can “graduate” from using a washcloth to a toothbrush as soon as the first few baby teeth start to pop up. Parents buying a baby toothbrush should choose one with a large handle, small head, and a soft brush. When brushing for the first time, parents can just wet the toothbrush. As soon as teeth come out, apply a small amount (grain-sized) of toothpaste to the toothbrush and gently brush the front and the back of the baby teeth.
Visiting the Dentist
Parents should always be on the lookout for any indicators of baby tooth decay. They should bring their baby to a dentist if they find white or brown spots or pits in the teeth.
Even if there are no dental issues, it’s still a good idea to bring the baby on his or her first visit to the dentist by age one. The dentist can provide advice on thumb-sucking, fluoride use, teething, and baby tooth care.
When the baby develops into a toddler, the parent can still provide dental care by observing how his or her child brushes his or her teeth. This will ensure that the child grows up without any serious dental problems.