Bring a new mom can be really overwhelming. It is hard to know what questions you should be asking about your baby’s health. It’s even harder to know what steps you should take now to ensure you child’s future is healthy. Children’s dental health often goes unmonitored longer than it should, simply because many parents don’t know that good oral health start BEFORE the teeth come in.
Whether your child is new with no teeth, has a few teeth poking through or a whole mouth full, you should be thinking about what steps are necessary now to keep their future smile healthy. Even though baby teeth are only temporary (they usually fall out to make room for their adult teeth by age six or seven), but it’s very important to keep their teeth and gums in great shape while they wait for those grown up teeth to come in.
So, how do you make sure that your child’s teeth stay healthy and make sure avoid painful and expensive issues with their teeth later in life?
Let’s walk through everything you need to know right now.
All new mom’s should be massaging their baby’s gum’s with their little finger, a small soft cloth, or a rubber toothbrush (the kind you can fit over your fingers and that is pictured below)
This is important because it keeps your baby’s gums clean and gets them used to something being in their mouth beside the nipple. If you’re consistently doing this for your baby, they won’t have an issue with it.
It is important to massage your baby’s gums a few times a day for 2-3 seconds (don’t overdo it or it could cause some mild soreness).
When your baby is around 6 months old you’ll start to notice that they’re first tooth will break through the gum line. It is extremely important that you use a soft cloth to remove plague that might accumulate on your babies’ teeth.
This should be done at least 2x a day at least (especially before and after feedings and before they go to sleep for the night).
Avoid putting sugary liquids into their bottle. Take very good care to pay attention to the sugar content in anything that your baby is eating or drinking. Studies have shown that one of the big causes of tooth loss later in life is linked to babies drinking sugary substances as an infant.
It’s also important to schedule your child’s first dental visit before issues can start stacking up. It may seem like scheduling a dental visit for your baby under 1 year old is silly, but a ton of potentially expensive teeth issues can be avoided if your child’s dentist catches them before your baby’s teeth all start coming in.
Your dentist can catch a lot of these issues if you bring your baby in before that first year. The American Dental Association has even started recommended that new mom’s bring their baby in before their child’s first birthday for this very reason.
If you are lucky, you can even find a dentist office that will setup a free first exam for your baby.
This first exam is typically very short, but it is important to catch any potential issues so you can keep your baby’s teeth healthy and avoid expensive tooth issues down the road.
The American Dental Association recommends that children are seen by their dentist before their first birthday. Not only does this help you avoid potential tooth problems, but it also helps your child get used to going to the dentists at an early age. This is important because you make dental visits something that isn’t out of the ordinary and less stressful.
1) Look for a Dental Office that has dedicated staff for seeing Babies.
You can typically pick them out because they will offer special deals for parents with new babies (if you’re lucky, you might even find an office that will do your baby’s first exam and checkup for free).
2) Find an office that is within 20 minutes of your house.
As your child grows, you might have the occasional dental issue the need to be handled fast. Finding an office that is a “quick drive” is important for your baby and for your dental health.
3) Look for an office that also serves adults.
Going to the dentist is a lot easier on you and your child if you are going to the same place together. This makes dental visits easier because you can “Group your appointment” and everyone in your family can get taken care of in one trip.
4) Find an office that is focused on serving families as they grow.
One of the most important parts of keeping your child healthy is setting in with an office that has a dentist and/or a group of dentists that are focused on staying in your community and will be around as your child grows. You typically want to work with a dentist who is young enough that they won’t be retiring anytime soon (this isn’t 100% necessary but it makes things so much easier as your family grows).
Just remember, your child’s first dental appointment can be fun for you both if you are prepared for the experience. By knowing what sort of dentist to choose, when your child should go, what to expect during your appointment and how to overcome fears of the dentist, you can definitely enjoy this enormous milestone in your little one’s life!