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Essential Steps For Baby Oral Hygiene Care

Your baby's teeth need to be taken care of at an early age. They are not just for eating, but also needed to talk clearly. Teeth are also one of the first things people notice when you smile.

Importance of oral hygiene

Whether you’re an adult or a child, learning the importance of oral hygiene is a must. With proper brushing and flossing, you can easily avoid the following:

  • Cavities
  • Bad breath
  • Gingivitis
  • Plaque build up
  • Tooth loss

Being able to take care of your baby’s teeth and teaching them later on how to do it themselves can put them at an advantage when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy later in life.

Brushing your baby’s gums

Newborns have no teeth, but this doesn’t mean their mouth does not need cleaning. Learn how to properly clean your child’s mouth after every feeding, as this helps prevent any bacteria from growing and also prevent any sores. Caring for your baby’s gums is easy.

You will need:

  • Soft gauze/soft cloth or Thimble-like brush (this goes over your index finger and can be found in most baby supply stores)
  • Warm water

Cleaning your baby’s gums doesn’t require any toothpaste. All you need to do is dip the instrument of your choice in some warm water, and gently wipe their gums with it. Remember to do this after every meal to make sure their mouth is always clean.

This is also a good way for your child to get used to having his or her teeth cleaned at an early age. This way it will become easier to clean their teeth once they get older, which will lead to less stress when the time comes for them to learn how to brush their teeth on their own. Cleaning their gums regularly can also help prevent any tooth problems that might emerge once their teeth start to come in.

Teething babies

Teeth usually start to emerge between 3 to 12 months of age. Your child will be very irritable and always want to bite on something. Here are some tell-tale signs that your child has started teething:

  • Drooling - This usually starts around 3 to 4 months of age. You will notice that your child’s chin and clothes will always be wet from the constant waterfall of drool. Keep them clean by using a bib and always wiping their chin.
  • Teething rash - Once the drooling starts and is left unattended for too long, chapping, redness and even rashes can start to develop around the chin neck area. If a rash does develop, you can treat it with some Vaseline or Aquaphor.
  • Biting - Your baby will be in a lot of discomfort once their teeth start to come in, so they will be biting just about anything they can get their hands on, like plush toys, fingers, and even their blankets.
  • Crying - When a baby is in a lot of pain and discomfort, they will let you know through a lot of crying. Parents need to be more patient with their babies when this happens, but they shouldn’t worry too much as it usually only lasts a few days or weeks.
  • Irritability - Fussy babies can be hard to deal with. Your baby will be very irritable as their teeth start to come in. Their irritability can last between a few hours, days or weeks depending on how well your baby will handle the pain.

Tips on caring for your child’s new teeth

The teething phase is inevitable, but you as a parent can help your baby through it by knowing how to relieve the pain.

Here are a few things you can do for your child:
  • Counter pressure - Use teething rings and other soft toys for your baby to bite onto to help relieve some of the pain.
  • Cold drinks/food - Feed them cold food and drinks to help relieve their gums and new teeth. Keeping their teething toys in the refrigerator is also effective.
  • NO numbing agents - Some parents use rubbing alcohol to help relieve the pain of teething. Never use rubbing alcohol or any other herbal numbing agents without the consent of your child’s doctor, as this could lead to health problems.
  • Pain relief - When all else fails, it is time to use some pain relievers for your baby’s teeth. Baby acetaminophen is usually recommended, but you should talk to your child’s doctor before using it or any other medication.

As for keeping your child’s new teeth clean, that is still up to you. When the teeth start to show, bring out a child’s toothbrush that comes with a soft brush, small head, and a large handle for easy control. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush your child’s teeth gently, starting from the front and going to the back. Remember to do this twice a day, and replace the toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to look worn or splayed. Continue to brush your child’s teeth for them until they are big enough to do it on their own.

You should also check regularly for any signs of baby tooth decay. Here are the signs of tooth decay in children:
  • Brown or white spots on the teeth
  • Small pit in the tooth
If you see any of these signs on your child’s teeth, consult your pediatric dentist to help avoid further damage.

Oral hygiene should never be neglected, especially in children. Educating your child on what it means to have healthy teeth at an early age can really shape how they will keep themselves clean as adults.


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