Knowing how to care for your baby’s teeth actually starts before a single little incisor emerges. But, how exactly do you make sure your baby has a healthy mouth, and what’s the right way to take care of those cute little baby teeth? It’s actually quite easy, and starting a regular oral hygiene routine from infancy can help your child develop healthy dental habits later on in life. Below, check out our complete guide to caring for your baby’s mouth to help your little one be on their way to a lifetime of bright, white smiles.
Before The First Tooth
Starting from infancy, your baby’s mouth needs to be cleaned at least twice daily. To do so, simply take a piece of thin, soft gauze or cloth and wrap it around your finger. Then, lightly moisten the cloth with warm water, and rub it over your baby’s gums and inner cheeks. This will help keep the bacteria in your baby’s mouth at bay, especially after feedings.
The First Teeth
After the first tooth emerges at around six months of age, you’ll need to start using toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean your baby’s mouth. Using a minuscule amount of toothpaste, gently brush all sides of the baby’s teeth, and make sure to clean the gums as well. As soon as two or more teeth touch, you can start flossing them as well.
Your child won’t really have the motor skills to brush and floss by themselves until after 6 years of age, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be engaged in their own oral care. Encourage your child to hold onto the toothbrush as you guide it around their mouth so they get the hang of the motions used. At this point, you should still only be using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Children — not surprisingly — love to spit, so make a fun game out of swishing their mouth with water and spitting into the sink, to help ensure that all the toothpaste is gone.
Caring for your child’s oral health does take time, but it’s essential to make sure their baby teeth grow in healthy and strong. Remember, starting a solid oral care routine from the youngest age possible will make your child more comfortable with having their teeth and mouth clean as they get older and helps establish good habits that will last a lifetime.