Infant oral care is among the most important things you should start the day your baby is born. Your baby may not have any tooth at first. Getting an infant’s oral cavity clean is the first step to prevent him from several dental conditions.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 42% of kids between two to eleven have dental caries, and 23% have untreated dental caries.
Tips for infant oral care
Mother’s milk is the first and primary food for your baby. Breast milk will help your baby in keeping away all the diseases. Moreover, breastfeeding also helps baby gums to get stronger.
Once your baby has finished feeding, remove the baby away from breast or bottle and clean the milk residues with a clean cotton pad.
Never put your baby to sleep with a milk bottle
When your baby falls asleep with a bottle in mouth, milk particles stay in the mouth overnight. It can have a long term effects on teeth and gums. Milk contains natural sugars such as lactose. This may, therefore, cause tooth decay. Make sure you clean your baby’s mouth before you put him/her down to bed.
Sipper is better than the bottle
Prolonged use of a milk bottle is bad for your baby’s oral health. Once the baby starts eating solid or semi-solid food, switch the milk bottle to a cup or a sipper. Also, drinking from a sipper or a cup on their own is a new skill that your baby will learn.
Start cleaning your baby’s oral cavity even before teeth eruption
Generally, baby teeth appear from 6 months of age. Cleaning and brushing your baby’s teeth gently removes plaque and food remains in their teeth. You can start cleaning them by wiping with a soft cotton cloth or brushing with a small soft bristle toothbrush and water. At 18 months start using a pea-sized amount of low fluoride toothpaste during brushing.
Clean the teethers pacifiers regularly
Be careful about what your baby puts in mouth. Tooth decay and cavities are caused by bacteria and are therefore considered as an infection.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, such problems can spread if uncleaned objects go in your baby’s mouth.
The American Dental Association recommends taking your baby to a dentist when he turns one. Consider seeing a pediatric dentist, who is specially trained for kid’s oral care.
See a dentist immediately if your child is born with a natal tooth (tooth at birth) or gets a neonatal tooth (tooth erupted within one month of birth).