Your baby wasn’t born with teeth, but they still can benefit from early oral care and routine. To properly develop them into dental health devotees, you should plan now to fully indoctrinate your kids at an early age so that they don’t even have think about taking care of their teeth—they just do it.
At first, there may not seem to be a lot to work with, but you can start out by wiping down your infant’s gums after every meal with a wet cloth. This will remove any milk, formula, or juice away, keeping the sugars from forming into dangerous acids in the mouth. More importantly, the ritualistic nature of doing this after each meal with subconsciously sink into your baby’s developing brain. Also important to note: Keeping the bottle out of the crib and never letting them get used to falling asleep with it is also a good thing
Training the Teeth
The first tooth will appear somewhere between 4-6 months. Now you can use a wet toothbrush (without toothpaste) to gently massage around the areas of the tooth and gums. Only when a few more come in should you use a seed-size dollop of fluoride toothpaste. Again, try to make it a happy routine and ritual that becomes second nature to you child.
Making the Ritual Stick
Now, when your baby is growing up and starting to feel his/her independence, it is time to hit the routine of dental health hard. If they are not on a schedule for meals, at least find a time where they will always remember to make a pilgrimage to the sink and do their daily brushing (twice a day), flossing (once a day). It should also become a no-brainer to visit the dentist’s office every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup.
These are the halcyon days for parents, when their kids think they know everything and can do anything. Take advantage of that power while you have it! The teen years are coming up and you will lose your omnipotence.
If you’d like more education about early oral health care, call Dr. John Anderson and our helpful team at Anderson Pediatric Dental & Orthodontics, Inc.. Phone: 801-774-5437, or come by our office in Roy, Utah.