Congratulation on your little bundle of joy and welcome to our platform!
With parenting comes great joy and lots of responsibility as well.
Some of these include caring for your little one’s “pearly whites” as they grow.
There are several FAQs that we have encountered in our day to day interactions with parents and you may have them as well.
We are here to answer some of them.
- Where should I start?
Dental care for your baby begins even before the teeth begin to erupt. This is done by cleaning your baby’s gums using a clean, warm washcloth soaked in clean water after feeding them.
Toothpaste or any other dentifrice is not required at this stage, just warm water.
- When do we start brushing?
As soon as his/her little “chompers” begin to peek out, you can either start by using a soft silicone finger brush(shown below) or use a soft baby brush with a long handle to enable both of you to hold it and brush together.
- What if my baby doesn’t like it?Do not give up if the little one is experiencing some difficulty getting used to the new hygiene practice. Like all good things, it may take time. If this happens, you can revert to the washcloth and give him/her more time. However, keep trying to reintroduce toothbrushing.
- Do I require toothpaste while brushing my infant’s teeth?
Yes! With the new set of teeth, a little goes a long way. Just a smudge on the surface of the brush as shown below will do.
- Can my infant develop cavities?
Yes, your little one’s teeth can develop tooth decay despite being on an exclusively milk diet. This is because breastmilk or bottle milk contains sugars that can cause cavities to develop when exposed to the teeth for long periods.
However, this can be prevented through the following ways:
- Always clean your baby’s teeth after meals using either of the methods discussed above
- Do not let your baby sleep with a bottle of milk as this prolongs the time that the teeth are in contact with the sugars causing “nursing bottle caries”
- Avoid sweetening their milk/water or giving them flavored drinks
6. How do I know if my baby has a cavity?
Young infants/toddlers oftentimes express pain. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Pain while chewing which causes him/her to avoid food
- Dark spot/hole, or white spot on the tooth
- Holding his/her jaw or cheek when in pain
- Irritability and high fever if the cavity has an associated infection
- Foul smell from his/her mouth
- In severe cases, swelling on the gum which may discharge pus or blood
7. When to visit the dentist
Your child’s first dental visit should ideally be as early as within the first six months after her/his teeth begin erupting
This is beneficial in two main ways:
The child will be in a relaxed state as he/she gets acquainted with the dentist’s office and will less likely have dental anxiety when the time for a procedure, such as extracting the baby teeth, comes.
More importantly, the dentist will be able to do a proper checkup and identify/prevent a problem much earlier.
So, make that trip to the dentist today!