3 Ways To Protect Your Baby's Oral Health
One of your baby's milestones is teething. You should start thinking about their oral health way before they reach this landmark though. Oral health is tied into overall health. As a parent, you are the steward of your child's health and wellness. You can take action early in your baby's life to make sure that they develop healthy teeth and gums as they grew up. You may be surprised to find that some recommendations did not cross your mind before. Here are three ways to protect your baby's oral health.
Take your baby to the dentist by their first birthday.
Your baby should begin having a relationship with their dentist by their first birthday. The pediatric dentist is able to assess if your baby is at risk for developing cavities and can advise you about how to structure their diet and their oral hygiene routine. Your baby is able to grow comfortable and form a trusting bond with the dentist if they go to appointments early on in life. This helps them to carry on healthy habits as they grow older.
Start brushing your child's gums when teething starts.
It may be surprising, but you should get your child their first toothbrush before their first tooth even surfaces. When your baby starts teething, start brushing their gums with a soft toothbrush and warm water. Brushing their gums stimulates the tissue and also helps to keep their mouth clean. As new teeth erupt, their tender gums are vulnerable to bacterial infection due to being open to allow the tooth to come through. Incorporating tooth brushing early in life also helps to teach your child to carry on with this healthy habit. It is never too early to start modeling healthy behaviors for your child.
Avoid sharing forks and spoons during meal times.
You can spread tooth decay to your baby via saliva. A bacteria known as streptococcus mutans is transmitted via saliva. This bacteria is known to cause cavities, and is especially active if you already suffer from tooth decay as an adult. You can minimize your baby's risk of picking up this troublesome bacteria by keeping a separate set of utensils for them during meal times. Your baby is naturally curious about the foods you eat. Just make sure that you are not sharing forks or spoons. You should also avoid sharing cups or blowing on your baby's food to cool it.