Taking Care of Your Baby’s First Teeth
For veteran parents, it’s nothing new, but for every parent, at some point, there is that first experience when your child sprouts their first tooth. The process leading up to this isn’t the calmest of occasions, as many can attest. Teething babies are a sleep-depriving force to be reckoned with, and our societies have come up with innumerable ways of soothing the aches and pains that come with this growth period. Separate from that, though, is the question parents face after those teeth start actually emerging from the gums. Namely, how do we take care of them? Just like adults, once those teeth come in, babies also need their regular Tulsa teeth cleaning.
Early Dental Care
The dental care of your baby actually needs to start well before the appearance of their first teeth. It’s important to take care of their gums and keep their moves free of bacteria. Avoid anything as abrasive as a toothbrush, at first, and instead, use a wet cloth or piece of gauze to gently wipe their gums clean in the morning and before bed at night. This not only keeps down bacterial growth and clears away food particulates, but also helps to stimulate their gums and encourage healthy gum growth. At this point, they don’t need their own appointment, but don’t hesitate to ask the dentist for advice at your own Tulsa teeth cleaning appointments!
Taking Care of Those First Teeth
As soon as that first tooth pops out, though, it’s time to begin brushing—very gently, at first. It’s recommended that you choose a brush with a small head and soft bristles for those early teeth. As with your own teeth, it’s important to brush the baby’s teeth twice a day. For the first three years avoid using fluoridated toothpaste. You may elect to use a non-fluoridated toothpaste during this time or merely wet the toothbrush with water. Either way, the most critical part is making sure to get all of the surfaces of those teeth, gently but methodically.
It won’t come as a surprise that this may be an unpleasant experience for your child, especially when they’re already dealing with the pains of teething. Typically toys of distraction and reward can help to alleviate this dislike and discomfort, but you may need to be prepared for a bit of fussing until the child grows accustomed to this routine.
When to go to the Dentist
Experts strongly recommend that you take your child to their first dental appointment within six months of their first tooth emerging, and no later than the age of one year old. Baby teeth serve an essential function in the early development of the mouth and of the child’s ability to learn proper vocalization. Proper routine early on can save you and your child an abundance of difficulty later in their life.
Graduating to Self-Care
While it may feel desirable to let your child start brushing their own teeth as soon as possible, studies have shown around age six to be the average age when this is a good idea for children. They need to be able to properly hold and use the toothbrush and have the focus and discipline to brush twice a day. Better a bit of a hassle now than an endless string of dental bills later, even if that hassle does last for six years. Even then, you’ll need to continue scheduling them for a twice-yearly Tulsa teeth cleaning. Click the link and make an appointment now!