Oral hygiene in babies

June 4, 2018 9:37 am

From birth your baby is constantly experiencing changes and sensations within the mouth. This ranges from breastfeeding, teething and first foods. In some cases this will be pleasant however during teething it is common for babies to become restless, irritable and to have difficulty sleeping.

As a result, you should focus on your baby’s oral hygiene even before the first teeth begin to develop. This is because babies are also prone to caries therefore maintaining a good oral hygiene will help prevent future problems.

How to take care of your baby’s mouth when there’s no teeth

  • Use a wet gauze or a silicone thimble to remove milk residues from the tongue.
  • Avoid cleaning the pacifier with your mouth and blowing directly onto food to cool it. Both of these can spread bacteria especially if you have had a cavity.
  • Do not wet the pacifier in sweet substances.
  • If your baby has discomfort due to teething then use a teething gel and/ or a teething toy. Gently massage the gel onto the gums to help relieve pain.

How to take care of your baby’s mouth when the first teeth appear

  • As soon as the first tooth arises, you should start brushing your baby’s teeth using a toothbrush with soft filaments.
  • From the age of 3 years, you can begin using a fluoride toothpaste of 1000 ppm to help strengthen the enamel and protect against cavities.
  • Try to reduce breastfeeding when the first teeth appear as this reduces the chances of milk residues left in the mouth which can lead to the development of caries.
  • It is recommended to visit the dentist with your baby when the first teeth arrive or from the first year of birth.

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