From the first moment when you held your baby in your arms, you likely had a protective instinct. All parents want their babies to thrive and be protected from the harmful forces in the world. Unfortunately, oral health care lapses can be one of those harmful forces. It can get your baby started down the wrong path with his or her dental care.
The good news is that learning to make the best possible choices for your baby's oral health can help you protect his or her dental health now and in the future. It's never too early to start following these essential tips.
Tip #1: Take Your Baby to the Dentist in the First Year of Life
The American Dental Association recommends that a baby should be taken to his or her first dental appointment after the first tooth appears and before the baby turns a year old. However, you don't have to wait until then to start making smart choices for your baby's dental health. Before you have chosen a family dentist, you can speak with your baby's doctor about oral health concerns.
Tip #2: Clean Your Baby's Gums Regularly
Some parents are afraid to clean their baby's gums out of fear of harming delicate tissue. However, it's important to clean the baby's gums each day. Use a clean, soft cloth for the cleaning.
Start this nurturing habit a few days after your baby is born. Stop only when the baby's first teeth come in. When the new teeth start to come in, switch over to cleaning your baby's teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for babies or children, and use cold water to rinse.
Tip #3: Don't Pass On Your Own Dental Health Problems
It's common for family members to share things, but sharing forks and spoons with your baby can be bad news. Your saliva inevitably contains bacteria. When you leave saliva on a utensil that your baby is going to then use, you are likely to pass on bacteria that can cause tooth decay. If you are worried about the possibility of contributing that bad bacteria to your baby, try to practice the best oral health care practices yourself.
Finally, be proactive each day to take good care of your baby's oral health. If you have questions or concerns about how you can better care for your baby's oral health, talk to a dentist, such as Webster John B DDS. They can share his or her expertise about protecting your little one's dental health.