New Parents: How To Clean Your Baby's Gums And Teeth

Most new parents have no idea that they need to be cleaning their baby's gums before their teeth erupt. However, this is a good habit to start early on for the sake of your child's oral health. Read on to learn more about when to start, how to do it and more.

When Should You Start? Why and How Do You Do It?

Parents should start taking care of their child's teeth before they ever erupt. This will help to get your child used to having their "teeth" brushed. Plus, it will eliminate any bacteria that has built up in the mouth from formula and baby food.

Use a soft, wet washcloth or piece of gauze each day to wipe down your baby's gums. You don't have to use toothpaste this early, but it is important that the cloth that you use is moistened. Wrap that cloth or gauze around your finger and rub it along the gums very gently.

When to Switch to a Toothbrush

You can use the wet cloth or gauze, as described above, until your baby's teeth begin to come in. At this time, you will need to begin using a baby toothbrush. Make sure that you are able to grip the brush well enough with your hand and that the head of the brush is small enough that it can easily maneuver inside your baby's mouth.

When to Begin Using Toothpaste

When your baby's teeth first start coming in, you don't need to use toothpaste just yet. Once your child is around a year of age, you can start using toothpaste. However, it is crucial that you only use a very small amount. Start off with an amount that is similar in size to a piece of rice. When your son or daughter reaches about two years of age, you can begin to use an amount that is similar in size to a pea.

When You Can Stop Taking Charge

The older your child gets, the more independent they will become in terms of brushing their own teeth. When this time comes, which is generally about five or six, you will just need to let them to do their thing while you track their progress. While they are brushing, make sure that you take the time to explain why it is so important to brush their teeth.

Don't forget to ensure that you schedule regular dental appointments for your child with a pediatric dentist like one from Apollo Dental Center in your area while also instilling good dental habits early on to help maintain your child's dental health.