Oral health is something that should be highly valued! One of the most valuable lessons you can pass along to your children is the importance of good oral hygiene.
Actually, the road to a beautiful, healthy smile for your baby begins long before the first tooth erupts. A baby’s teeth begin forming before birth. All the primary (baby) teeth are present in a baby’s jawbones at birth. The teeth begin to appear about six months after birth, and all the primary teeth are usually visible around the age of 3.
As a mother, you play a very big part in helping your baby develop healthy teeth and gums. Daily dental cleaning should begin as soon as your baby’s first tooth appears. Try wiping the baby’s gums and teeth after each feeding with a piece of clean gauze or damp cloth to remove plaque. This will allow your infant to get used to having the inside of their mouth touched and will help prepare them for proper brushing and flossing later.
Dental problems can begin early in life. A major concern is baby bottle tooth decay which can result from an infant using a bottle during naps or at night; or when they nurse continuously from the breast. Babies should not be allowed to fall asleep with a bottle, and at-will nighttime breastfeeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begin to appear. The discomfort of new teeth erupting in the mouth can cause your child to become irritable.
You can help to ease some of this discomfort by lightly rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger, a cool, wet gauze pad or a cooled teething ring. You should also check the baby’s teeth periodically for early signs of tooth decay. Cavities can appear as white, yellow or brown spots or lines on the teeth.
Plaque bacteria occurs faster in children than it does in adults, and oral diseases (among the most untreated of all childhood diseases) can result in severe tooth decay and pain for the affected child, interfering with eating, sleeping, speaking, learning, and playing, whereas children with healthy teeth and gums chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and grow to smile with confidence.
As a new mom, you should make sure your child’s teeth are clean and brushed until your child is 5 to 6 years of age, at which time they can be taught to brush and floss properly on their own. The habits your child develops as a baby will not only carry them through their formative years but can be reflected in beautiful, healthy smiles for a lifetime.
At Grover Dental Care, our doctors and staff enjoy establishing lasting, caring relationships with children, helping them to develop healthy smiles for life that would make any parent proud. We would welcome your visit!
Yours for better dental health.
Dr. Russell Grover