We all love baby teeth and the stories associated with them. Spot a child and you will see their front four teeth vanished. And the stories they create for the explanation always keeps us laughing into nothingness.
It’s a joy looking after a baby’s teeth and making the baby go through the daily cleaning process and learning how to do it. If you are a mother to a new born baby, understanding the teeth concept of your baby might be looking like a science fiction to you.
When will the tooth come? How shall it come? What care should I take when the tooth starts popping up? Is there any precautionary measures I should take before the teeth start showing up?
All these questions are your random pleas now and we totally understand that! And so we have answered most of the questions for your happy parenting!
What should be done before the baby’s teeth start coming?
Even before the baby’s teeth start coming out it is very necessary to keep the gums of your baby clean on an everyday basis. Although there is no bacterial harm to the teeth before the teeth come out, but it’s very hard to spot the coming through of the teeth until they actually start showing up. And so regular cleaning is a good step into the healthy tooth of your baby.
Indulge yourself into the habit of cleaning your baby’s gums by wiping the gums with teeth gauze or a small piece of cloth. Just wrap a small piece of cloth around your index finger and wipe the dirt out of your baby’s gums slowly and gently.
There is no need to use any toothpaste or brush, soft touch of your index finger shall be perfect for the cleaning. Do this twice daily.
When shall the baby’s teeth start coming up?
Generally a baby’s teeth start to appear as soon as 6-8 months of its birth. But if your baby still hasn’t gotten their teeth you don’t need to worry as sometimes child even take 15 to 18 months to grow healthy teeth.
How to take care of a baby’s teeth?
When the child’s first teeth start coming out, it is indeed a moment of joy! Mothers usually get perplexed on the way they should take care of their child’s newly coming out teeth. It is important to know that although the baby teeth shall be replaced by permanent ones later, baby teeth are equally important as it preserves the space for the next set of teeth.
It helps the baby chew food, talk and frames the basic habits. The decaying of baby teeth can be problematic for the baby in the long run. Hence do not get jazzed about the problems and feelings, just start taking care of your baby’s teeth right away!
A baby’s toothbrush is the most delicate one, choose a toothbrush that is:
- Small headed
- Has a large handle
- And has very soft bristles
You don’t need to use much toothpaste on your baby’s teeth in the starting phase. Just half a drop of the toothpaste would be enough. Just take the brush, wet the toothbrush, apply a tiny teensy amount of toothpaste on it and gently start rubbing it on to your child’s teeth.
Go in circular motions and slowly start removing all the leftover food or dirt still there in the teeth.
Make it a habit to brush your baby’s teeth twice a day until your baby becomes old enough to hold the brush.
Slowly teach your child how to brush teeth; they take a lot of time learning the correct way and the importance of brushing teeth. Usually children get into a habit of tooth-brushing themselves at the age of 6.
The best way to brush the baby’s teeth after they start coming in?
When your baby’s teeth first start to come in which is generally around the 6 month mark(though some babies take as long as up to 15 months to sprout teeth, so don’t get too worried), you need to buy a toothbrush.
- For the toothbrush, you will need to find one with a smaller head and a good grip to hold in your hand.
- You would need to brush your baby’s teeth twice every day, once in the morning and once right before bedtime.
- To brush the teeth, you will need a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste and use a very small quantity, the size of a grain of rice or a small dot to avoid giving your baby too much fluoride.
- Brush gently on both sides of the teeth as well as the tongue to get rid of any bacteria that can cause bad breath. If you use a very tiny bit of toothpaste, you don’t need to rinse out the toothpaste.
- Replace the brush when the bristles start fraying.
How much fluoride does the baby need for the teeth?
Fluoride is an important mineral for the baby’s teeth and can help it to develop perfectly. This can help to prevent tooth decay and help to strengthen the teeth and improve the enamel and make it much more resistant to any type of acid and harmful bacteria. The recommended dosage for fluoride for children under 3 years of age is .25 milligrams.
The primary source for fluoride in general is the water that you consume. Though it is not recommended to give water to a baby below the age of one, if you are feeding your baby any formula, the water you are making it with will probably be enough to meet the requirements for fluoride.
Check if your municipal water has fluoride in it to ensure that your baby’s requirements are met. If the fluoride content is less than .3ppm, contact your doctor about the possible need for a fluoride supplement, though these are not recommended for children of less than 6months.
However, you must not have too much fluoride in your dish as it can lead to a condition called fluorosis, where white spots appear on the adult teeth. This is the reason why you need to use just the tiniest amount of toothpaste until your baby can spit it out and rinse out your mouth.
When should the baby be taken to the dentist?
It is good to visit the dentist when your baby is one year old. By the time the baby is one year old, the teeth have started to pop up and the already popped teeth are gaining their yellowish colors, you will know of the baby’s teeth health.
The dentist would have a thorough check on your child’s teeth and suggest best ways to cure any problem that might have occurred.
When should you fix your first trip to the dentist for your baby?
The general guideline for taking your baby to the dentist for the first time is to schedule an appointment within six months of the first tooth coming in, or by the first birthday, whichever of these may come faster for you.
Apart from these visits, your baby’s primary doctor or other healthcare provider should always take a look at your baby’s teeth upon every visit and apply a coating of fluoride as per the level of risk that the baby has of getting cavities.
Risk factors both stem from the genetic build-up of the child, the prevalence of tooth related diseases in the family, as well as the mother’s tooth health during the time of pregnancy.
Upon taking your baby to the dentist for the first time or any time that you do visit the dentist, tell them about any type of treatment that the baby has received at the hands of your primary healthcare provider. If you cannot afford a dentist, talk to your healthcare provider about what options you have.
How do I know of baby’s gums problems?
Like everyone there can be several reasons for bad gum and bad teeth. Make sure you give the light kind of food to your baby to help him/her get the beautiful set of teeth. Foods that generally are culprits of bad tooth are:
- Chocolates and lozenges
- Dry fruits
- Cold drinks
Although consumption of any kind of food should not be totally eradicated, it is necessary to check that the baby eats them in minimal amounts and the teeth are cleaned back again soon.
Is it necessary to massage my baby’s gums even before his/her teeth come in?
Getting into the habit of wiping the gums of your child even before his teeth start getting in is a very good idea. For wiping the gums, you need to use any material like a piece of gauze, a soft and wet washcloth or just a piece of clean and sterilized cotton during the time of bath.
Toothpaste is not yet necessary at this stage and all you need to do is to simply wrap the piece of gauze or the wet cloth around the tip of your index finger and then use this to rub gently over his/her gums.
Though any bacteria present in the mouth cannot usually harm his/her gums before any teeth emerge, it can be quite hard to tell exactly when his/her teeth start to push through the gums, making starting early a good idea.
This process can also help the baby get used to having the mouth cleaned regularly as a part of daily routine can also make it easier for him/her to transition to brushing the teeth later on as well.
What kind of foods can lead to tooth decay for children?
Just like adults, certain types of foods can cause cavities and tooth decay in children. Some of the foods which need brushing after consumption include common foods like-
- dried fruits
- peanut butter and jelly in any form
- pasta bits
If you are giving your child any of these types of foods, ensure that you give these to them at mealtime and not during dinner so that they don’t stay on the gums and teeth for too long and cause tooth decay.
You can also ensure that the child drinks water after having these to ensure that these foods are dislodged from the mouth and do not cause any type of tooth decay.
What to do when a baby has teething pains?
It takes two years before all of the baby’s teeth have popped up the process of teething for babies is a painful process both for the mother and the baby. Teething as a process is very uncomfortable for the babies and that is why they cry in pain days before a new tooth pops up.
Finding the reason for their pain, relaxing them and giving them relief is in your hands. You can help them in many ways:
- Find the reason of their pain – swollen gums, high body temperature, drooling etc.
- Make your baby chew on wet clean cloth or apply toothpaste on the swollen gums
- Rub the baby’s gums with a clean index finger
- Take your baby to a dentist for a medicinal solution; never give the baby medicines on your own.
How to prevent baby’s teeth from cavities?
Cavities take place when teeth have been left unattended after having a heavy meal or sweet. The teeth need to be cleaned to protect bacteria from settling on your teeth and ruining it. Make sure you clean your baby’s teeth right after each meal or even after milk.
If you feel the need to send your baby to sleep while still sipping on bottle then make sure the bottle is filled with water and not milk.
Caring for your child’s teeth can be a very difficult task, but it is also just amazingly rewarding to see that perfect smile light up your world. With these tips, you can lock in your child’s smile and ensure that your baby goes on to have the brightest smile in the world.