Healthy Teeth Start With Your Baby

by on January 8, 2014 in Pediatric Dentistry
Healthy Teeth Start With Your Baby

Here at All Dental Center in Watertown we offer kid friendly dental care for children of all ages. Parents typically don’t think about oral care for their infant until their baby gets their first tooth. Proper care of your newborn’s mouth starts long before that first tooth emerges. Properly caring for your baby’s gums is just as important as proper tooth care. Proper care of your baby’s gums will keep them healthy for emerging teeth, making your little one’s visit with the dentists in Watertown here in Watertown more enjoyable.

Proper Care From The Beginning

Caring for your baby’s gums is simple. Wiping the gums with a rag or wet gauze is all that is needed to properly clean them. No toothpaste is needed at this age. When bathing your infant, wrap the rag around your finger and gently clean and massage all areas of the gums and inside cheek area. After feedings, wet a gauze pad with water and gently wipe baby’s gums clean. The act of wiping your baby’s mouth after feedings not only cleanses their mouth, but it also stimulates the salivary glands. This saliva also helps to remove any remaining bacteria in the mouth.

How To Clean

When cleaning your baby’s gums you are essentially wiping bacteria from them. While these bacteria may not be able to penetrate the gums, they can penetrate the areas when teeth start to appear. Many times it is hard to pinpoint exactly when the first teeth start to emerge through the gum line. By properly cleaning the gums, you prevent any bacteria from attacking baby’s newly emerging teeth. 

Other Important Factors

Aside from normal cleaning of your baby’s gums, there are other things you can do to protect your baby’s gums, even before the first tooth appears. Never allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle containing anything other than water. Avoid putting baby to bed with formula or juices. When your baby falls asleep, the formula or juice will collect in the cheek and bacteria grow rapidly. These bacteria then attack the gums while your baby is sleeping. Don’t share utensils with your baby, and avoid putting your baby’s things in your own mouth. Bacteria from your mouth can be spread to your baby’s mouth this way. 

Getting into the habit of regular oral care will make the transition to teeth brushing easier for you and your baby. Once your baby’s first tooth comes in, a soft bristled toothbrush without toothpaste should be used to clean the teeth and gently massage gums. Flossing baby’s teeth is not typically necessary since the teeth are far enough apart that they don’t touch. A dentist appointment should be made within the first six months after the first tooth emerges through the gum line. Your dentist will offer advice and tips on proper care of your baby’s new teeth. The dentists at Watertown Dental Center welcome your little one for their first dental appointment. This allows your baby to get used to going to the dentist, allows us to examine your baby, and gives us the opportunity to offer advice and tips for your baby’s mouth.

Proper care of your baby’s gums leads to a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. 


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