Dental hygiene should start even before your baby starts to teeth.
As early as 3 months old you may notice signs of teething such as more drooling than normal, irritability and wanting to chew on things. You may help your baby with their teething process by providing teething rings, rubbing their gums with your finger, or a chilled washcloth.
You can expect your baby’s front teeth to start erupting as early as 4 months old. And you will want to start brushing their teeth with an infant toothbrush, rice size amount of toothpaste, and water, brushing in small circles. Look for an organic, or American Dental Association (ADA) certified toothpaste for your baby. Once their teeth start to touch each other you will want to also introduce flossing. Brushing twice and flossing daily are great habits to start at a young age.
Wiping out their gums with a wet cloth or brushing with only water will help to keep their gums and mouth healthy.
Young babies are also susceptible to tooth decay, so taking precautions not only on brushing and flossing but also on what they have in their mouths before bed is essential. If your baby goes to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice, the sugars stay on the teeth all night long, and may lead to tooth decay sometimes known as bottle rot. If your baby must have a bottle for bed you can help prevent decay from these sugars by brushing their teeth after they are finished with their bottle, or by using a fingertip towel and wiping out the liquid left in their mouth.
When your baby starts learning to walk they are bound to take some tumbles.
Dental trauma is common in young children. If your baby takes a fall and hits their teeth watch the mouth for swelling of the gums, pain, or color changes in the teeth. A cold pack may help to reduce any swelling, and if bleeding apply pressure to the affected teeth. If there are signs of trauma please call the Dentist right away to schedule an appointment.