Helping your Baby Develop Good Oral Hygiene Habits
We all want the best for our babies and that includes keeping their oral hygiene healthy. The American Dental Association recommends that infants should begin seeing a dentist six months after the first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday. Developing good oral hygiene habits at an early age can help set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Things to Do for Oral Care
- Wipe Gums: Before any teeth arrive, it’s important to keep your baby’s gums clean and free of bacteria. Use a warm, soft washcloth or finger wrap to gently clean the baby’s gums twice a day.
- Use Toothpaste: When your baby’s first tooth starts to appear, you can begin brushing. Talk to your dentist about when to start using toothpaste and what type of toothpaste to use. A small amount of fluoride-free toothpaste should be used.
- Brushing and Flossing: Continue brushing your baby’s first tooth twice a day and floss once a day. Make sure the toothbrush you choose is appropriate for your baby’s age and size. You should also avoid fluoridated toothpaste until your child is 2 years old or has developed enough dexterity to spit.
- Diet: As your baby transitions from milk to solid foods, make sure he/she is getting balanced nutrition that includes plenty of vegetables and fruits. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, particularly in between meals. This will help prevent any issues with baby tooth decay.
Getting a Good Start
By forming the right oral hygiene habits early on, you are setting up your baby for a lifetime of good oral health. Make sure to visit your family dentist regularly to stay on track and make sure your baby’s teeth are healthy.