Babies begin developing teeth around the age of 3-9 months, and many parents do not realize that good dental health starts before teeth start to show. During the teething process, babies might feel moderate to severe discomfort. Here are some ways parents can help alleviate a baby’s discomfort.
- Put a wet washcloth in a clean plastic bag and chill it in the refrigerator. Once cold, this washcloth can act as a teether for baby for chew on.
- Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
- If your baby rejects cold items, chewing on a teether at room temperature may do the trick.
How to Clean Your Baby’s Teeth
When babies drink liquids, their mouths are exposed to bacteria that can be damaging to their developing teeth. It is important to know how to care for their emerging teeth in order to set them on a lifelong path of good oral health. Below are tips for great dental care for your baby. Follow these steps twice a day (in the morning and in the evening) on your baby’s teeth and gums.
- Wipe the gums off after each feeding with a warm, wet washcloth or a dampened piece of gauze wrapped around your finger.
- You can also buy thimble-like, soft rubbery devices (they fit over your index finger) to use for rubbing off excess food.
- When teeth have erupted, brush them two to three times a day using water and a soft bristled toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste.
First Dental Visit
Your child should have their first dental appointment by no later than age three. By three years old, all of your child’s primary (baby) teeth should be present. If you have concerns about your baby’s gums or growing teeth before age 3, please do not hesitate to make a dental appointment.
Dental Care for Children ages 2-7
Once baby’s teeth have grown in, it’s time to start brushing! Use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) and brush twice a day. Only use toothpaste designated for children. During these younger years, it is important to supervise and help your child with their brushing to ensure they are properly reaching all teeth and not swallowing any toothpaste.
Do you have more questions about dental care for your baby or child? Call us today at 979-968-9451 or you can contact us online.
Dr. Karen Roberts