Tips To Care For Baby Teeth
If your baby has started teething and you aren’t sure how to care for those little pearly whites, Dr. Carol Jin, DDS, and her caring family dental staff in San Ramon, CA, would like to offer some helpful advice. We’d love to be your child’s first family dentist and get those teeth off to the best start possible.
Caring For Baby Teeth After Birth
Although your baby’s teeth won’t come in for four to six months or even longer, you should start preparing for baby tooth care a few days after birth. Take a clean, moist washcloth or gauze pad, and wipe those little gums very gently.
Even new teeth are at risk for cavities. Cleaning your baby’s gums every day helps reduce the risk of cavity-causing bacteria from damaging your baby’s teeth when they finally do emerge.
My Baby Has Started Teething: Now What?
Sore, tender gums can cause your baby to be very fussy and even feverish. It’s okay to give your child teething rings and teething toys to chew on, but make sure they are clean. If your child is especially cranky, try rubbing your child’s gums with a clean and cold (or frozen) washcloth.
Be Careful When Administering Teething Remedies
FDA recommendations have changed over the years. Benzocaine-containing teething gels, which used to be commonly used to numb baby’s teeth, have been shown to have serious side effects. You should check with your doctor before administering other pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and never give aspirin to children due to the risk of a rare but serious condition called Reyes syndrome.
Cleaning Baby Teeth Once They Have Emerged
Once your baby’s teeth have begun to emerge, you can start brushing them with an ADA approved baby toothbrush. Use specially formulated infant fluoride toothpaste, but only a tiny smear: approximately the size of a grain of rice. Brush twice daily, especially after your baby has eaten in the evening.
Baby’s First Dentist Visit
Family dentists such as Dr. Carol Jin, DDS currently recommend that you schedule your baby’s first visit after the first tooth emerges, and no later than their first birthday. Aside from inspecting your baby’s teeth, your dentist will show you how to clean your baby’s teeth properly.
At this first office visit, you will also learn how to deal with thumb-sucking and other habits that can adversely affect your baby’s oral health.
Additional Tips & Tricks To Keep Baby Teeth Clean & Healthy
- If you bottle-feed, only put breast milk, formula, or water in the bottle.
- Don’t feed your older baby or toddler juice or sweet drinks, even in a sippy cup.
- Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle – this is a recipe for tooth decay.
- Try to make teeth brushing fun: sing, play peekaboo, smile and laugh while you clean.
- Care for baby teeth as if they were permanent: early decay can lead to a lifetime of problems.
Gentle Family Dental Care In San Ramon CA
Monitoring healthy tooth development and catching issues early through family dental care appointments is critical to ensuring your child’s future bright and healthy smile. If it’s time to schedule your baby’s first dental appointment, Dr. Carol Jin, DDS, is the San Ramon family dentist you can trust.
Call our dental office today and get your baby started on a lifetime of good oral health.