As we ooh and ahh at our brand new family member, one of the last things on our mind is dental care. We’ve got, at least, until that first tooth comes in, right?
That is an incorrect assumption most parents have, as they contemplate everything they will need to do to take the best care of their infant. Healthy dental habits should begin right out of the womb because bacteria doesn’t take a day off!
KEEP GUMS CLEAN
Though an infant’s diet consists only of water, breast milk and formula, there are natural sugars in breast milk that can cause growth of bacteria if left in the mouth. That bacteria has the potential of affecting those little teeth below the gums.
Your newborn’s gums should be gently cleaned at least once daily. Using a clean, soft washcloth or gauze pad dampened with water or a soft rubber finger brush, rub along the gums. As your baby begins to teethe, place the dampened cloth or gauze pad in the freezer to soothe any soreness during cleaning. It’s also beneficial to wipe down cheeks and tongue to further rid your infant’s mouth of bacteria.
As part of their earliest dental hygiene regimen, make sure they aren’t falling asleep with a bottle, especially if it’s breast milk, formula or juice. The resulting liquid can definitely result in decay after teeth come in. Rinsing their mouth with water regularly can also go a long way in preventing harmful bacterial growth.
You can’t be too careful with the foundation of healthy gums as your child grows and begins to need more care for their new teeth. Also, regular cleaning will help your infant get used to the important care they’ll need for their best dental health. We can help! Please call our office with any questions or concerns about your baby’s gum health. Also, remember to bring your child in for their first check up within six months of that first tiny tooth erupting.