Thursday, February 24, 2011

Introducing oral hygiene habits before their first tooth even surfaces

Image: Clare Bloomfield /

Before your baby girl or your baby boy displays their ever so cute "toothless grin" or even before their first tooth even surfaces it's good to start thinking about good oral hygiene. I know, seems early but if the truth be told bacteria and germs may still build up in their mouths especially with emerging teeth. I started oral hygiene care with my babies as early as 6 weeks old. I started doing this early because my pediatrician recommended it at their six week checkup. You may be asking yourself " How can this be done and safely?" Here are a few tips according to Baby Center and ideas that may ease your fears regarding early hygiene habits.

Cleaning Baby's gums

  • Wipe baby's gums with gauze

  • Soft wet cloth

Simply just wrap the gauze or wet cloth around one of your fingers and gently rub the gums.

Cleaning their first teeth

  • Search for a baby tooth brush with a small bristle head and a large grip. Toothpaste is unnecessary at this age due to accidental ingestion. One swipe of the toothbrush is good enough and can be done twice a day to kill or prevent any bacteria build-up.

  • You can buy baby oral cleansing gel at most drug stores if you are uncertain that plain water is not working. Baby oral gels are safe and easy to use and safe for baby to swallow.

What about fluoride? This is an excellent question as we know that fluoride treatments are essential for oral health. Fluoridated water is suggested at this point. Refrain from fluoride toothpastes until they are older.

When do little ones need to start seeing a dentist? Many family dentists suggest by their first birthday. Other suggest by the age of 4. It is best to consult your baby's pediatrician about when exactly would be a good time for your little one start visiting the dentist.

How early did you introduce oral hygiene to your little one? What methods did you use? Feel free to share your experiences.

Image: Free Digital Photos

Source: Baby Center


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