3 Tips To Keep Your Young Child's Mouth Healthy

A new child is a blessing, but many parents are not aware of how to take care of their baby's mouth after he or she is born. It is never too early to start an oral hygiene with you child; you can start at birth, and in the long run it may make it easier to take care of your child's teeth as a toddler. If you have a new baby, use the following tips to help ensure that his or her teeth stay healthy:

Take Time to Care for the Gums

Having a newborn can be stressful for new parents, but introducing a oral hygiene routine from the beginning can help a child get used to having his or her mouth cleaned, and prevent resistance or tantrums in a child when they need to have their teeth brushed as a toddler. The key is to start rubbing your child's gums with a wet, soft cloth, or a wet piece of gauze after every feeding- this will keep the gums clean, while also preparing your child for a regular oral hygiene routine.

Don't Let Your Baby Go to Bed With a Bottle

Sucking gives a baby comfort, and when you add in food, many babies peacefully fall asleep after consuming a bottle of breast milk or formula. It is easy to understand why new parents will do whatever is needed to get a baby to sleep, but providing a bottle in the crib or allowing a baby to fall asleep with breast milk in his or her mouth after nursing is just asking for cavities or tooth decay. Your best bet is to start a bed time and nap time routine that does not rely on your baby falling asleep with a bottle; many good parents find themselves having to watch their young child undergo dental procedures due to "baby bottle rot," but you can prevent this by being mindful of when you give a bottle.

Don't Delay Brushing

Start brushing your child's teeth as soon as he or she gets his or her first tooth. Not only will this keep the teeth healthy, it will also make it easier to brush your child's teeth when he or she is a toddler. The sooner you introduce good oral hygiene, the easier it is to brush your child's teeth. You can make the process more enjoyable by letting your child choose a toothbrush, and allowing him or her to brush on their own, followed by you brushing his or her teeth properly. Contact Kids First Pediatric Dentistry for more information.