Your baby is undeniably adorable. You especially love their smile with its pure joy. Now imagine that as you take yet another picture of your baby, you see decay on their teeth. You would do anything to keep your baby healthy and protect them from harm, but are you taking care of their oral health? Here are four tips from a pediatric dentist in Hillsboro to make sure your baby can keep beaming at you for years to come.
From day one, you can promote your baby’s oral health. Start by using a washcloth to gently wipe and massage their gums at least once a day. As their teeth come in, continue to use a washcloth twice a day or after meals until they turn one. At that point, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and begin brushing with fluoride-free toothpaste twice and flossing once daily. Not only do these oral practices keep their teeth strong and clean, it helps reinforce healthy habits they will need in the future.
Manage Teething Trouble
Teething can be painful for some babies and cause fussiness. To help manage your baby’s teething, give your baby a cold teething ring or cold washcloth to chew on. After getting the okay from their pediatrician, you can also use infant acetaminophen.
Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
For many parents, it can be tempting to use feeding time or leave a bottle with them in the crib to help their babies fall asleep. Are you guilty of doing this? Although the breast or bottle may ease your baby into dreamland, that is the time when your baby’s mouth is most vulnerable. Adults and babies alike produce less saliva during sleep, letting the bacteria in the mouth have free reign. These bacteria create acids that attack your baby’s teeth. When your baby has residual milk in their mouth, the sugars in the milk only fuel the bacteria more and lead to what is commonly called baby bottle tooth decay. To avoid this, do not give your baby a bottle to take in the crib. If they need something, try giving your baby water to drink instead.
Visit the Dentist
You should bring your baby to the pediatric dentist in Hillsboro for the first time around their first birthday. At this appointment, the dentist will form a relationship with your baby in addition to visually check their teeth. The children’s dentist in Hillsboro can also answer any of your questions, such as the following:
- How can I stop my baby from sucking on a pacifier or thumb?
- What are other ways to soothe my baby while they are teething?
- When should I start using toothpaste with fluoride?
Your baby depends on you for everything, including maintaining their oral health early in life. By implementing these tips, you can help keep your baby’s teeth healthy and strong not just for all those pictures you’re going to take but for eating, speaking, and smiling for years to come. For more tips on caring for their smile, contact your pediatric dentist in Hillsboro.
About the Author
At The Dentists at Orenco for Kids, three talented dentists offer advanced and specialty pediatric care to residents of Hillsboro and surrounding communities. From a preventive dental checkups to restorative care, they provide a wide range of services. To contact them, you can call (503) 640-6565 or click here.