As you look at your newborn baby, you might wonder if anything could be more cute than their adorable, gummy smile. In a few short months, your child will have their first tooth emerge from their gum. And yes, they’ll be even more precious!
Before that first tooth makes its grand entrance, you’ll want to make sure you do everything you can to prepare your child’s mouth for their baby teeth growing in. A few simple steps can make a big difference in the development of baby teeth.
At Children’s Dentistry, we’ve been providing high-quality infant oral care to families in the Las Vegas area for many years. Here are three simple ways we recommend you prepare for your child for baby teeth.
1. Keep Baby’s Mouth Clean
Although we understand that all children with teeth need to have a regular habit of brushing twice a day, some new parents don’t realize that a baby’s mouth should be kept clean even before teeth emerge. To make sure baby teeth are growing in the best environment, follow a few simple steps.
- Wet a piece of gauze or a soft, clean washcloth. No toothpaste is necessary.
- Gently sweep the mouth with the cloth to remove any residual food or milk. Clean carefully around the tongue as well.
- Follow this procedure after every meal or feeding.
You can find small, rubber infant mouth cleaners at your local drugstore. They fit over a finger and perform the same function as a cloth, but are washable and reusable. Whichever tool you choose, make sure to keep the baby’s mouth clean. Doing so will help prevent infection in the baby’s mouth. Additionally, a clean baby’s mouth is vitally important for nursing mothers, helping them avoid painful issues such as mastitis.
2. Prepare For Teething Pain
As baby teeth are growing in, they can cause pain to the baby as they cut through the gum. Although this is normal, there are several things that you can do to help ease your child’s discomfort.
- Consider teething rings or other teething toys. You can find them at most stores, and many parents find they are a simple and effective solution.
- Take a clean washcloth and wet it until damp. Then, place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. The key is to give your child something cold to chomp down on, without freezing the washcloth into a block of ice.
- When children aren’t consoled by other methods, you can consider administering infant pain medication. Make sure you consult with your child’s dentist first for their recommendation, as well as dosage instructions.
3. Take Your Baby to Their First Dentist Appointment
Once the primary teeth have begun to emerge, make sure to set up an appointment with a pediatric dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you make your first appointment around the child’s first birthday or six months after the first tooth emerges.
At the initial appointment, the dentist will check baby teeth development, as well as educate you about the best methods of caring for the baby teeth that are growing in. It’s an important visit for the baby…and the parent!
If you live in the Las Vegas area, contact Children’s Dentistry to set up your baby’s first appointment. With 10 convenient locations, there’s an office nearby. We even have offices open on Saturday! We hope to meet you and your precious little one soon!