Babies are born with a complete set of upper and lower teeth, which stay hidden in their gums until it’s ready to come out. This is why gum care and tooth care in children should start as early as the first week of life.
Cleaning the gums is just as important as brushing the teeth; healthy gums mean healthy teeth, and the current condition of their baby teeth can affect the development of their permanent teeth.
This is why it’s important to schedule regular visits to a pediatric dentist as early as soon as the first teeth come through. It’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s teeth, and it should start as soon as the first ones come out.
The Importance of Gum Care
Taking care of your baby’s gums is done by using a soft, moistened washcloth wrapped around your index finger. To clean your baby’s mouth, gently massage the gums, the sides of the mouth, the palette, and the tongue.
Be careful not to put too much pressure and do it as gently as possible. Dentists also advise parents against sharing utensils with their children to limit the transfer of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
In addition to that, it’s essential to clean the baby’s mouth after each feeding, whether they’re bottle or breastfed. Cleaning after each feeding as the milk can leave traces of sugars and acids that can encourage bacterial growth in the mouth when left unwashed. This can lead to childhood carries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay.
You should clean the baby’s mouth each time they’re done feeding, especially when they begin their solid food intake.
The Importance of Early Dental Care
Baby teeth train and prepare the gums for the arrival of permanent teeth. This is why it’s essential to make sure that your child doesn’t lose their baby teeth too early. This might affect the growth and development of their permanent teeth.
Aside from that, your baby will only go through childhood once. You’ll only see them smile and look like that with their baby teeth once, and you’d want to make sure they can smile confidently and proudly themselves. A good set of baby teeth can boost your child’s confidence, which can have a positive impact on their overall development.
Early dental care helps keep your child’s teeth healthy and prevents them from experience discomfort or pain caused by dental caries, tooth decay, and gum problems. At the first sign of teeth, it’s best to consult with a kids’ dentist to get proper guidance on mouth and teeth cleaning to ensure your child’s oral health.
The First Dental Visit and What to Expect
As soon as the first teeth come through the gum, you should start brushing their teeth and continue the practice of cleaning their gums and mouth. It’s best to visit the dentist within the first six months of the first tooth coming in.
On your first appointment, you will be asked to provide your child’s health history. You should keep a record of your own and update it each time you go for a dental visit. The first dental visit normally includes gum and tooth inspection, gentle cleansing, and removal of plaque and cavities.
The dentist will also provide you with instructions on how to care for your child’s teeth properly. This includes how to brush their teeth properly, the type of toothbrush and toothpaste to use.
The dentist will also provide you with information regarding pacifier hygiene, thumb-sucking habits, teething, and infant feeding practices.
Succeeding Dental Visits
Children should visit the dentist every six months. Frequent visits also help your child feel more comfortable with the dentist and establish the healthy habit of taking care of their teeth early on in their lives.
Depending on the case, a dentist may schedule visits more often, such as every three or four months. Make sure to go to every appointment to ensure full and optimum care for your child’s teeth.
Baby teeth won’t be there permanently, but they play a vital part in your child’s overall development. Without a healthy set of baby teeth, your child may have difficulty speaking and chewing their food. But you can prevent this from happening with proper gum and dental care.
As their gums develop, their baby teeth act as placeholders for their adult teeth. Losing their baby teeth due to tooth decay or gum problems can hugely affect the health and proper growth of their permanent teeth.
This is why it’s important to start oral and dental care for your child from their first week of life. Make sure to visit the dentist as soon as the first tooth comes out. Your child will benefit from regular dental checkups, and their oral health will boost their overall physical health.