For the very first time when you become a parent, the whole experience of parenthood is a learning process, new experience and of immense happiness. Although in general you are aware of taking care of these tiny beautiful little souls in the most delicate manner for their whole body ranging from eyes, hands, legs, ears, nose and their overall hygiene. But have you as a parent thought about the infant oral health care or oral care for babies?
Now, are you wondering and contemplating like “when a baby does not have any teeth then how a question can arise for infant oral health care?” To your surprise, the moment you take your baby to your dwelling, the oral care for babies should be initiated and taken care of even if they are yet to have their teeth sprout. Newborn oral care is of equal importance as vaccination of newborn babies. To preserve your baby’s smile and health, infant oral health care is a must.
To make yourself aware of some basic and most important baby teeth care tips, Sabka Dentist has made a list to keep our babies smiling always. Mind you these tips are not just for mothers but for fathers also as taking care of the baby is not just mother’s responsibility but it’s a collective responsibility of both the parents.
- Don’t let your baby sleep with the bottle intact in the mouth
Parents generally have a mentally to keep babies engaged with the milk bottle and lullaby them to sleep. If the baby falls asleep with the milk bottle or any other liquid bottle in the mouth this will expose the baby to liquid for a longer duration than usual. Consequently, there is a possibility that plaque can end up on their teeth because of the pool of milk gathered in the mouth. If your child has developed this habit, it is important to slowly and gradually change the way you lullaby them to sleep as this has adverse results. This can develop caries on the baby’s teeth and lead to tooth decay. This is commonly known as “baby tooth decay”.
As a parent, you can avoid this by being extra cautious and don’t let them fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth. Keep them engaged with some play or toys when they are drinking the milk.
- Clean your baby’s gums and teeth
The oral care for newborn babies’ gums and teeth also starts as soon as you bring them to the home. Its important to keep your baby’s gums and teeth neat and clean. After your child is done with the meal, make sure to wipe their gums with warm, wet washcloth or a wet piece of gauze gently. You can wrap it around any finger you are comfortable and softly wipe it.
One more thing to take care of is you can even clean your baby’s first teeth with a warm or wet cloth. You can even use soft bristles, toothbrushes and water. This will prevent the plaque from occurring or else due to plaque there can be tooth decay. Clean their gums as well.
Gradually after 18 months, you can start using low fluoride toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth but keep the quantity of toothpaste small like a pea size. Finely see to it that they don’t rinse the toothpaste and mostly spit it out.
- Take your baby to the dentist on the time
Generally, we take our babies to the doctor for vaccination and overall health examination every month, but we never think of taking them to a dentist for infant mouth care. The very first time they may visit a dentist is almost after two years or so. The American Academy of Pediatric dentistry has recommended that the first dental visit of the babies to the dentist must be within 6 months of the occurrence of the first teeth or within one year, whichever is early.
These first visits are very important as they will give you over all knowledge of how to maintain dental hygiene for babies and will also clear many of your doubts which you may have as a parent.
The oral care for newborn babies in the form of earlier visits will also help you prevent any dental issue in its initial stage and the regular dental visits which help you in a longer run. Prevention will always be better than cure.
- Feed your baby with healthy food and liquids.
The whole idea of infant oral health care also includes diet. A healthy, balanced diet is a building block of healthy gums and teeth. To your surprise, your baby may start eating all solid foods as early as 6 months old and enjoy all variety of foods, which is normally a part of your family’s diet or meal.
One of the myths to be burst here is that parents think of fruit juices as a better alternative than sugary drinks. To your dismay, the amount of sugar in these fruit juices is extremely high. And, those juices which claim to be sugar free are bound to have natural sugars from fruits itself of which it is made. It’s advisable to not to give fruit juices to your baby within 12 months of the birth. The sugar can cause damage or linger on the baby’s teeth and ultimately cause cavities. It’s better to feed them on water and milk.
- Teach and lead by example
As the child grows up, it learns from many social institutions and the very first social institution it comes into contact is the family. So, as a family you must take care of your own oral hygiene practices as these habits are picked up by the children very easily without even giving a thought about it. To set a good example to your child, practice good oral hygiene and explain them in small bits the importance of practicing them daily.
Once you incorporate the plan set by you in your daily routine, infant oral health care will by default become your nature and you need not worry about it. A stitch in time will save nine so ensure that you well in advance from the very start keep in mind the infant oral health care plan charted out. A concerted effort is due to give them a healthy tooth for lifetime. Take special care about their visit to the dentist within 6 months or as soon as the first teeth sprout, whichever situation arrives first.
Sabka Dentist provides premier infant oral health as a healthy tooth is as important as each and every other organ of our body. We are just a call away! Happy Parenting and Responsible Parenting.