To enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums is actually important to start at birth. In fact, it is recommended to start cleaning your child’s gums the moment you take them home. This way, they will quickly get into the habit of regular dental care, a habit that will benefit them for the rest of their life.
Proper Dental Care for Infants
The best way to clean your infant’s mouth is to:
- Use a clean, damp and soft washcloth, or a specially made infant finger toothbrush, to gently rub your baby’s gums, both the upper and lower sets.
- Switch to a soft, infant-sized toothbrush once your child’s teeth start to come in.
- When your infant’s teeth begin to come in, use a special toothpaste made for children.
You should go through this routine once in the morning and once in the evening.
Infants and Teething
Teething typically begins around six months, though it can start as early as three months or as late as twelve. Teething symptoms may include difficulty sleeping, increased drooling, and general fussiness. Your infant will want breast milk, as sucking soothes the gums. They can be rough, making feeding times difficult. You may want to consider using a plastic baby spoon, the temperature of which soothes the gums.
Tips to Keep Your Child Comfortable
There are some steps you can take while your child is teething that can relieve some of their discomfort:
- Massage the Gums: rubbing on your child’s gums using your finger can ease some of the pain.
- Teething Toys: There are some toys that are made specifically for teething children. Chewing on them relieves pain, and some can even be chilled.
- Over the Counter Medication: Oragel is a topical medicine used to treat teething pain, and it can help relieve your infant’s discomfort. We don’t recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as these drugs are primarily used to treat fever.
Your Child’s First Visit
It’s a good idea to schedule your child’s first dental visit before celebrating their first birthday. The reason for this is that this is the point when we can address any potential problems before they materialize.
Typically, this first appointment will be comprised of:
- An examination of your child’s soft tissues
- A look at their thumb or pacifier habits
- If teething has begun, we will look at your child’s new teeth
- Discussion of teeth that may have been damaged while learning to walk
Schedule A Consultation for Your Child Today
As you can see, the best oral health routine begins shortly after birth. If you are ready to schedule your child’s first visit with Dr. Andre Hughes, then contact our office today. We look forward to helping your child achieve a lifetime of healthy teeth!