The Newborn. A few days after your baby is born, you will need to begin cleaning his mouth. After each feeding, wipe his or her gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque. This will establish the importance of oral hygiene at an early age, and allow your baby to enjoy the feeling of having a clean mouth and clean gums.
The First Year. When your baby’s first tooth erupts, you will need to begin brushing. You can use a small, soft toothbrush or a clean washcloth on the tooth or teeth, and clean and massage the gums in areas that don’t yet have teeth.
The Function of Baby Teeth. You might wonder why we need to pay so much attention to a baby’s gums, teeth, and mouth when he doesn’t have his permanent teeth—aren’t baby teeth going to fall out anyway?
Your child’s baby teeth are more important than you might realize. Strong, healthy teeth baby teeth are important for a child to chew, to speak, and to maintain space in his jaw for permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the teeth beside it may drift into the empty space, leaving insufficient space for the incoming adult tooth and making them crooked or crowded. The appearance of baby teeth is also important esthetically.
The Danger of Decay in Baby Teeth. As soon as teeth appear in your baby’s mouth, they are susceptible to decay, one serious form of which is a condition known as “baby-bottle tooth decay.” Since it is very important for a parent to understand and prevent baby-bottle tooth decay, we will take a closer look at that subject in my next post.
Remember: It’s never too early to think about your child’s good-looking smile!