Dental Care for Infants

   As a parent or a “to-be” parent, your number one goal is the health of your baby. Most of us are aware of how important it is to care for our teeth, and likewise children. But you may not be aware of how dental care for infants works, before their teeth emerge.

Healthy Habits from Birth

   Good oral health starts from birth. Paying attention to dental care for infants will help to prevent tooth decay later.

  • Always clean your baby’s gums after feeding. Simply wrap a damp wash cloth around your finger and gently massage the gums.
  • Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. According to WebMD, “Baby bottletooth decay happens when sweetened liquids or those with natural sugars (like milk, formula, and fruit juice) cling to an infant‘s teeth for a long time. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and make acids that attack the teeth.” Therefore, avoid things like putting your baby to bed with a bottle or dipping a pacifier in sugar or syrup.
  • Properly care for their gums when they are teething. This stage typically occurs between 4 and 6 months of age and can be very uncomfortable for them. The gums may appear swollen and red as the teeth are beginning to break through. To sooth your baby, give them a cold teething ring or a cold wet wash cloth.
  • Keep in mind that dental decay is transmissible. Since this is the case, avoid testing the temperature of their bottle with your mouth, sharing eating utensils, ect. In doing so, you are preventing the transfer of bacteria that can cause cavities.

Baby Teeth Are Important

   Never underestimate the importance of baby teeth just because they are temporary. In fact, good dental care for infants means prevention of eating, speaking, and smiling problems later on. Baby teeth also serve as placeholders for adult teeth. If baby teeth go uncared for, perhaps becoming severely decayed, adult teeth can come in crooked.

   As you can see, dental care for infants is extremely important!