Caring for your new baby is one of the most exciting, but challenging, times that we go through in our lives. It’s full of milestones, from the first smile to the first words and of course, the first teeth. Teething is an essential stage of development, but it’s also a time of trepidation for parents. Teething can cause your baby quite a bit of distress, which means you may not get as much sleep as usual during this period.
You can ease the pain of teething by rubbing their gums with a clean finger or providing them with sugar-free rusks and teething rings.
The other thing you need to do when baby teeth emerge is to start caring for them by setting your baby up with a good oral health care routine and avoiding baby tooth decay.
When to Expect the Eruption of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth growth happens at different stages, but teeth usually emerge between 6 and 12 months of age. All babies display different symptoms when it comes to teething, but you may notice that your child is more grizzly and they may rub their cheeks more often.
Brushing Baby Teeth
You should start baby teeth cleaning as soon as they emerge. To brush, you should use a baby toothbrush and only brush with water or appropriate child’s toothpaste, making sure to brush after breakfast and before bed. Try and get your child involved in the process as early as possible, by letting them hold the brush and mimicking the action.
The more you get them involved, the more ingrained these healthy habits will become.
Keeping Baby Teeth Healthy
In addition to brushing, you need to monitor what and when you feed your baby to keep their teeth and gums healthy and encourage proper baby teeth development. A healthy diet is the cornerstone of oral health, so make sure your baby enjoys a diet full of healthful foods, like fruit and vegetables, while limiting foods and drinks that are high in sugar, such as flavoured milk, juice and dried fruit.
Milk is also a common problem. While milk is an essential building block of nutrition, you need to be careful about when you give your baby a bottle. Try not to get in the habit of settling your baby with a bottle, as this allows the milk to settle on the teeth and gums overnight. If your baby only settles with a bottle, you could try filling it with water, so you don’t have to worry about the sugar.
Your little bubba does deserve a treat now and then, and teaching moderation is better than complete abstinence. It’s best to give treats at mealtimes with water or appropriate child’s toothpaste, as the water helps to wash away the decay-causing sugars.
Introducing Your Baby to The Dentist
It’s never too early to take your baby along to the dentist. It’s a good idea to take them along to your visits to get them used to the environment before they go for their own appointment. Dr George Olstein provides children’s dentistry and can give you the best advice for your baby and how you can care for their teeth and gums. Getting your baby along to the dentist for a check-up will give them the best chance of avoiding dental problems later on in life.
It’s also great to keep the same dentist throughout your child’s adolescence. That way, they’ll enjoy continuity in care and feel comfortable with both the dentist and the environment, which can work the prevent some of the phobias and anxieties that children can experience with dental visits.
Even though baby teeth fall out, you need to look after them to set them up for healthy teeth throughout life. There is a strong link between healthy baby teeth and healthy adult teeth, so consider your efforts now as an investment in the future.
As your baby gets older, the focus should switch from you looking after their teeth to teaching them to look after their own teeth. The more control they have over the process, the more chance they’ll have of continuing the routine later in life. We all want to set up our kids with the best start, and looking after your baby’s teeth is a great way to do this.