As a first-time parent there is a lot to learn, from how often to feed your baby to how to properly swaddle him or her. Perhaps most importantly you will also have to adapt to surviving on next-to-no sleep. The good news is that, as with most tasks, there will be a lot of learning as you go and you will surely improve your parenting skills over time. One area you might need a little extra help, though, is taking care of your son or daughter’s smile! It can be all-too-easy to neglect your child’s oral care, when he or she has yet to erupt a single tooth. But good dental hygiene should actually begin before you see that first precious pearly white tooth. So let your pediatric dentist guide you in how to best take care of your baby’s smile!
Babies Need Dental Care Too
Many parents simply don’t know that dental care should actually begin before the child’s first tooth erupts. By wiping baby’s gums with a clean cloth after feedings, you can help him or her avoid early oral health problems, like what is commonly referred to as baby bottle tooth decay.
After teeth begin erupting, though, it is time for you to begin brushing your child’s teeth or tooth using a baby-sized toothbrush. Until approximately age three, you can simply use water and the toothbrush. After age three, stick to a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste when brushing your child’s teeth.
You will need to continue being the one to brush your baby’s teeth until he or she is old enough and agile enough to tie his or her own shoes. This is usually good indication that your kid is ready to begin brushing his or her own teeth! However, you should still supervise his or her dental hygiene, just to help ensure proper technique is being used, and that the toothpaste is not swallowed.
It is also important to schedule routine dental appointments for your children starting at age one.