Your baby's gummy smile may be the most adorable thing in the entire world right now, but that smile is about to become even more endearing once your little one's first tooth breaks through. A baby's first primary teeth or milk teeth usually make their appearance once baby turns 6 months. You'll know a tooth is about to erupt when baby starts drooling more than usual or showing signs of discomfort! Apart from learning how to soothe a teething child, parents should also take extra steps to care for their baby's teeth to ensure proper teeth development. Here are some easy ways to care for your baby's teeth.
Some babies feel discomfort or pain when their teeth start to come in. Once this happens, they may self soothe by teething on whatever's handy or start thumbsucking. Experts say that while thumbsucking may not affect a child's teeth and gums, prolonged thumbsucking may change the shape of the jaws, and this will affect the overall appearance of one's face. Orthodontic treatment can reverse the changes, but in order to prevent this from happening in the first place, parents should be on the lookout for signs of soreness and help their child.
You can offer your baby a cold or frozen washcloth to soothe their gums, or try placing a teething ring in the fridge for 30 minutes before giving it to your little one. Gently massaging your baby's gums can also help to quell pain and discomfort. As much as possible, try to use these natural methods and avoid using teething gels or tablets as they may have potential side effects.
Take active steps to ensure that your baby's teeth will stay clean and cavity-free. Once your child's first tooth erupts, you can start cleaning her teeth with a finger brush instead of a toothbrush. This gives you better control while brushing your little one's teeth and prevents you from accidentally hitting your baby's gums. Do this at least three times a day after feeding and before bedtime. If your child is a bit irritated by the brush, you can use a damp washcloth to clean your baby's teeth. Just wrap a corner of it around your index finger, then gently wipe your little one's chompers and gums.
If your child's teeth looks a bit stained, it's likely due to the iron content in his or her vitamins, so use a tiny smear of children's toothpaste whenever you're cleaning your baby's teeth. You may also want to ask your pediatrician to recommend a different vitamin supplement is staining is an issue.
Don't wait for a dental emergency to occur before visiting your dentist. Make sure to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist once your baby's first tooth erupts. Your doctor will check to see if your little one's teeth are developing properly and if there are no tooth problems whatsoever. If there are no pediatric dentists near your area, going to a general dentist should be fine, but try to look for someone who's comfortable treating babies and very young children.
Looking after your baby's teeth can help your little one have strong and beautiful pearly whites as they grow. Try these tips to care for your baby's teeth, and don't hesitate to consult your dentist for other ways to keep your child's teeth healthy.