A lifetime of healthy smiles starts with good oral hygiene from the very beginning.
That’s why it’s very important for parents to pay close attention to teaching proper practices from the beginning. Here are a few tips to help get your child off to a great oral hygiene start.
Begin before you see teeth
Keeping your baby healthy includes oral hygiene. That starts even before you see the first tooth. Run a clean, damp washcloth over your baby’s gums to clear harmful bacteria.
According to WebMD, “If your baby has no teeth yet, clean the gums at least two times a day — after breakfast and after the last feeding of the day. Even better — clean your baby’s gums after every feeding.”
Start brushing early
As soon as your child has baby teeth, it’s time to start brushing.
According to KidsHealth from Nemours, “Use water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice). Use fluoride toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance.”
Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle
It may be tempting to put your baby to sleep with a bottle. But that can be a bad idea for oral hygiene.
“Even babies can develop tooth decay if good feeding habits aren’t practiced. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle might be convenient, but can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth,” according to KidsHealth from Nemours.
Begin dental checkups early
Don’t wait to get in the habit of regular checkups for your child.
According to KidsHealth Nemours, “The ADA recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. At this first visit, the dentist will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques and do a modified exam while your baby sits on your lap. These visits can help find problems early and help kids get used to visiting the dentist so they’ll have less fear about going as they get older.”