Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

Proper Dental Care From Babies To Preschoolers

by Dr. Steve Whittemore, D.D.S. | Published January 8, 2020

Caring for your baby’s teeth from day 1 is important in protecting their dental hygiene for the future. Helping and teaching your children to keep their teeth clean is imperative to avoid tooth decay and many other dental hygiene health problems. Here are some tips on how to keep your child’s teeth clean throughout the first few years of their life.

The Importance of Cleaning Infant Gums

When your baby is only a few days old, it is fundamental to start caring for and cleaning their gums. Gently wipe your baby’s gums using a gauze pad or a clean, wet washcloth. You should wipe their mouth after every feeding, as well as before you put them to bed. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), doing this will prevent decay and bacteria build up in your baby’s mouth, keeping them healthy. Also, when cleaning pacifiers for your infant, never clean it by wiping it off with your own mouth. The bacteria and germs that you put on it can lead to early cavities for your baby and other diseases that can affect the health of incoming teeth.

When The First Teeth Come In

Spotting your baby’s first tooth is an exciting moment in your life. Teething occurs around the ages of 6 months and 14 months. It can be painful for your child, so there are a few things you as a parent can do to ease the pain as it comes in. Giving them a cool chewing ring, or even a small chilled spoon can help tone down the pain of their sore and tender gums. If you need a last resort option, use infant tylenol or other safe pain medicines that are approved for infant use. When your child’s first tooth fully grows in, schedule their first dental hygiene cleaning to check for health problems and teach you how to properly clean their teeth.

Choosing The Right Toothbrush And Toothpaste 

Having the right kind of toothbrush and toothpaste for your child will ensure healthy teeth cleaning. Choose toothbrushes that are made for 2-5 year old children. These brushes have small oval shaped heads, soft bristles, and non slip handles that help clean the small baby teeth that kids have. Also, toothpaste should have low fluoride, until your child learns to not swallow it. For children under the age of 2, you should put a grain size amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush and for children over 2, use a pea sized amount.  After brushing for about 2 minutes, it’s important to fully rise off your toothbrush in clean water and to replace your used toothbrush after every 3 months. 

Teaching Your Child How To Brush Properly

Parents should be brushing their child’s teeth until they are about 4 to 5 years old. Leading by example is one of the best ways to teach your child how to brush and floss on their own. Parents should show children proper techniques of how to brush their teeth. They should show them how to brush the top, bottom, and sides of their teeth and to use short, back-and-forth strokes. Lastly, parents should teach children to brush their tongue to remove germs and help freshen their breath. After they individually brush, parents should look over their teeth and clean any missed spots.

Scheduling a Dental Appointment

If you see your baby’s first tooth grown in or believe that it is time for your child to visit the dentist, schedule an appointment with the Pediatric Dentistry of Central Iowa. We look forward to meeting with you and your child soon!

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