Looking after your baby’s teeth

On 30 Dec 2012    

Many new parents often wonder when they should start looking after their baby’s teeth and are not sure when to start cleaning or how to clean the teeth.

Ideally you should start to clean your baby’s teeth once a day and as soon as the first tooth appears. By starting at a young age your child will become used to having their teeth cleaned and this should avoid problems with teeth brushing as your child gets older. Getting your child into a good dental routine at an early age is vital for good dental hygiene.

Most babies get their first tooth between the age of six months and one year and usually a bottom front tooth is the first to appear. At this time your baby’s gums will feel tender so brush gently at this time. A gauze or muslin wrapped around your finger is the best thing to use initially, there are many baby’s first toothbrushes on the market that are designed with soft bristles and a small head to suit a baby’s small mouth. A baby’s toothbrush should be replaced every three months or as soon as the bristles start to spread out. There are also many children’s toothpastes on the market that are suitable for babies as they have a low-fluoride content.

To clean the teeth put a small smear of toothpaste on the toothbrush and brush all around each tooth and the gums thoroughly every day. Use small, gentle, circular movements paying particular attention to the area between the teeth and gums. Some parents find it easier to cradle their baby in their arms to reach the teeth easier. Make sure your baby spits out the remaining toothpaste when you are finished.

As your child grows older it is important to keep the amount of sugar in your child’s diet to a minimum as this is the main cause of tooth decay. Try to avoid giving your child fizzy drinks or drinks containing lactose, fructose or glucose, especially at night time.

If you would like more guidance on how to look after your baby’s teeth our dental experts at Smiles would be very happy to help you. To contact us please visit: https://www.smiles.ie/contacts-us

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