Babies and Toddlers (0-4)
There’s a common misconception that your baby’s oral health isn’t a serious concern until they start teething. Developing healthy dental hygiene habits helps protect your baby’s teeth throughout their entire lives, so getting started early is essential. As children develop from birth to age 4, they’ll undergo a series of stages in their dental development. Knowing how to care for their developing teeth during this period can help get them on the path to dental health that lasts.
Birth to 6 months of age
Proper oral health habits start early, and in the beginning, they’ll be entirely in your hands. Caring for their gums after every feeding is an important start. After every feeding, you can gently wash your child’s gums with a moistened washcloth wrapped around your index finger, massaging them as you go. Never give your baby a bottle at bedtime, or prop it into their mouths. Doing so can promote decay.
Baby’s First Tooth
Somewhere between four and six months, most babies will start teething. This event is often accompanied by your baby’s gums becoming red and inflamed, and they may begin drooling more than usual. Chilled teething rings and wet washcloths are an excellent way to bring your baby some relief, and numbing agents like Anbesol can also help. An important thing to remember is that dental decay is infectious, so don’t do things that can transmit germs from your mouth to theirs. These can include sharing utensils, testing a bottle’s temperature with your mouth, or cleaning off bottle nipples or pacifiers with your mouth.
Your First Visit To The Dental Office
Your baby’s initial visit to the dentist should happen shortly after the appearance of their first tooth. The moment your baby has teeth erupted through the gums, they’re at risk of developing cavities. Developing a good relationship with their dentist can have a positive effect on their lifetime dental health. You can help prepare for this by having your child practice with you, holding their mouth open while you check their teeth, letting them know the dentist is friendly. You can help their visit by scheduling it before or after nap time so they can be well-rested. Feed them a light meal and help them brush their teeth before you leave, and set expectations for the visit to be a friendly and happy experience. Your attitude about their visit can do wonders for their experience.
Making Good Dental Health A Family Affair
As your child continues to age, you can help establish good dental routines. Don’t just tell them to brush their teeth, brush your teeth with them at the same time. You can make it a fun experience that helps the family bond, creating positive associations that will help them keep the habit. Please make sure you select fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen their teeth and promote lasting oral health.
Skyline Smiles, led by Dr. Leena, has been providing exceptional pediatric dental care for patients in Santa Clarita, CA, and the surrounding area. If you’re ready to begin your child’s journey to lasting oral health, it’s time to call (661) 244-4036 to schedule an appointment. Our helpful staff will lead you through the preparatory steps for your first visit, advising you of necessary documents, insurance information, etc. When you visit 28532 La Madrid Drive, Suite B, Santa Clarita, CA 91350, you’ll be ready to give your child a great first dental experience as part of the Skyline Smiles family of patients.