Infant oral care is more important than most parents realize. Learn what to do with a newborn to help prevent oral health issues and what to do to help your child avoid cavities. Baby bottles and breastfeeding can lead to cavities in small infants if infant oral care isn’t taking seriously. Find out what those recommendations for early dental care are and how to take care of your infant’s delicate baby teeth!
The First Infant Oral Care Exam
If you are a parent of a infant and thinking you have years before your child will need to visit the dentist, think again. The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends that you schedule your child’s first oral hygiene appointment when they reach their 1st birthday. Why so soon? The biggest reason is to help prevent problems from occurring. Even if your child doesn’t have teeth, oral damage/conditions can still occur.
Dental problems in infants typically stem from baby bottle decay or nursing. Can gum disease strike little mouths too? Yep! Approximately half of all children between the ages of 2 and 3 have at least mild gum tissue inflammation.
Educate yourself on common infant oral care tips and daily hygiene needs to prevent common conditions. Healthy teeth and gums play an early role in how your child learns to speak clearly, to chew food properly, and to share a confident smile with others.
Treat Teeth and Gums with Gentle Care
Infant oral care begins before you can even seen tooth buds in your infant’s mouth. The sugars in the milk and juices he drinks and/or the sugars found in the solid foods he will later eat affect gum health. Sugars left to fester on the gums and teeth affect the health of gums and developing teeth.
You play a pivotal role in the development of good oral habits by cleaning your infant’s gums right after he is born. Expect that it may take some getting used to at first, but soon your baby will not be opposed to having his mouth cleaned. By getting your infant adapted to oral care early on, you lay a foundation for success with toothbrushing/flossing in the years to follow.
Cleaning Infant Gums…Do You Know How?
The American Dental Association offers some great tips for cleaning your baby’s gums or his first teeth when they erupt around 6 months of age:
Before Teeth Erupt – Follow steps twice a day; after breakfast and before bed
- Begin by laying your infant comfortably on your lap so his head is close to your chest and you can see clearly into his mouth.
- Rub a clean, damp, washcloth along the baby’s upper and lower gums. (You can also purchase “finger cots”- terry-cloth coverings – that are specifically designed or this.)
When Teeth Begin to Erupt – Follow steps three times a day
- Start brushing erupting teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water. (Toothpaste is not recommended until a child reaches age two. Always supervise brushing to ensure that your child does not swallow any toothpaste.)
- Establish a regular schedule of infant oral care (brushing teeth/practicing flossing together) to help your child develop this healthy habit.
- Plan and schedule regular visits
Schedule an Infant Oral Care Exam Today!
Infant oral care exams with Dr. Evanson will help you prevent early gum disease and tooth decay keeping your little one’s mouth healthy and strong. Our patient education coupled with our expert staff, can help answer your questions and prepare you for all the upcoming oral milestones your infant–soon to be child–will experience. Learn dental health tips, or schedule an appointment by calling our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 today.Leave a reply →