When you are the parent of a new baby, the only thing you may think you have to be concerned about is their physical health but you may not know that you should look into their oral health as well. From infancy to toddlerhood, this article will list a few different things that you can do for their oral health to ensure that their mouth is as healthy as possible.
Newborn to 4 Months
Just because newborns don't have teeth, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't take care of their oral health. Whether your newborn is bottle-feeding or breastfeeding, there is some sugar in the milk which means that it could potentially be harmful to their mouth. After every feeding, take a clean, damp, washcloth and rub it across their gums to try to get rid of any sort of residue; just make sure that the water isn't too hot and that they don't swallow too much water because it can upset their stomach.
4 Months to Teething
When your baby is about 4 months old, you can start introducing solid foods to them. While you may be inclined to give them things like yogurt and ice cream, those foods contain a lot of excess sugar which can be harmful to their mouth. Instead, try to give them things like mashed vegetables (peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans) because they are lower in sugar. Then, after every time they eat solids, you can either use a soft infant-sized toothbrush with just water on it to brush their gums (as gently as possible), or you can continue to wipe their gums with a warm cloth.
Once your little one starts to sprout some teeth, you can talk to your family dentist about using a toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. Some dentists may suggest that you use a tiny pea-sized amount of non-fluoride infant toothpaste to brush their teeth a few times a day with an infant-sized toothbrush, but other dentists say just to use water. The goal of using toothpaste on an infant is to not only fight cavities but also prevent them from swallowing too much because it may upset their stomach.
Just like with adults, it's important to keep your little one's mouth as clean and healthy as possible. To learn more tips and tricks, reach out to a family dentistry clinic near you and ask them for some advice.