Dental care for you and your baby
Congratulations on the coming birth of your child! You may be wondering what you need to do to take good care of you and your baby’s oral health. Should you be doing anything different? Is it even important since they don’t have any teeth yet? Read on for tips to help your baby have a lifetime of health smiles!
Dental Tips to keep you and your baby healthy
Taking care of your mouth while are pregnant is important for you and your baby. Brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, and getting dental checkups and treatment will help keep you and your baby healthy.
Caring for their gums
You can take care of your baby’s gums before their first tooth appears or “erupts”. After bottle or breast feeding, wrap a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze on your finer and rub it gently on your baby’s gums. This helps to clean their mouth of any food fragments and starts them on the journey of building good daily oral health care habits.
Your baby’s first tooth
When your baby’s first tooth erupts, it is now time to get a baby toothbrush. There are a couple options that you can choose from
- A long-handled toothbrush that you can hold with your baby
- A finger puppet toothbrush that fits on the tip of your finger, it can also double as a gum massager
The toothbrush bristles should be soft, and at this stage you don’t need to use toothpaste. Start by dipping the brush in water, and don’t give up if your baby doesn’t react well initially. Just keep trying, you can switch back to a washcloth and then try the toothbrush again, until they get comfortable. Normally when your baby is teething, they will want to chew on about anything, so they will very likely enjoy the toothbrush during this period!
When to start using toothpaste for your baby
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.
You don’t have to worry if your baby swallows some of the toothpaste (they almost certainly will). In such a small quantity, it won’t cause any damage.
How to avoid cavities
It’s important to not give your baby any sweetened drinks or soda. Even fruit juice has a lot of sugar, not to mention baby formula that can cause decay, which is why it is vital to regularly clean their teeth and gums. Going to bed with a bottle is also a guarantee for early-childhood decay.
Baby’s first visit to the dentist
It’s recommended that a first dental visit should be on their first birthday or as soon as they get their first teeth. You can read more about it here for tips on how to prepare your child for their first dental visit.
Taking care of your mouth while are pregnant is important for you and your baby.
Frequently Asked Questions for Perinatal Dental Care
Q: When can you go to the dentist if you are pregnant and have dental needs?
Q: Can your oral hygiene affect your pregnancy?
A: Improved oral health during pregnancy reduces the transmission of cavity causing bacteria to the baby.
Q: When do teeth start to develop in your baby?
A: 8 weeks gestation
Q: When is the best time to go to the dentist if you are pregnant?
A: Second trimester
Q: When should your baby go to the dentist for the first time?
A: At least by 12 months old
Baby teeth eruption chart
Looking for a pediatric dentist for your baby’s first dental visit? Call us today! Have questions about your newborns oral health, our awesome team are ready to help!