Becoming a new parent is very exciting, but there is also a learning curve as you discover how to properly care for a new baby. Like most parents, you probably want to keep your new child healthy, and good oral hygiene is an important part of overall good health. Use the following tips to ensure that your baby's mouth and (eventual) teeth stay healthy:
Begin an Oral Hygiene Routine Early
It is never too early to begin thinking about your baby's oral health- in fact, you can start cleaning his or her mouth soon after birth. Even before your child's first tooth grows in, it is a good idea to clean his or her mouth on a regular basis. You can do this by wiping his or her gums with a clean damp cloth or piece of gauze after each feeding. Starting an oral hygiene routine will also make your baby more comfortable when it comes time to start brushing teeth.
Don't Let Your Baby Fall Asleep with a Bottle or While Breastfeeding
Many babies find suckling to be very relaxing and soothing, and it is not uncommon for infants to fall asleep while drinking a bottle or nursing. Unfortunately, putting your baby to bed with a bottle or letting him or her breastfeed until falling asleep can be disastrous for your child's teeth. Both breast milk and baby formula contain a lot of sugar, and when a baby falls asleep with milk in his or her mouth it pools on the surface of the teeth. This can lead to serious tooth decay and cavities that can require serious dental intervention to repair. If your baby absolutely will not fall asleep without a bottle, make sure that the only thing you put in it at night is plain water.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your baby should make his or her first visit to the dentist no later than his or her first birthday. It is a good idea to take your child to a pediatric dentist-- these types of dentists undergo extra schooling and training in order to specialize in treating infants, toddlers, and children. Your baby's first dental check-up will allow the dentist to take a look at his or her gums and examine new teeth. Visiting the dentist at a young age will help your child become familiar and comfortable with visiting the dentist, which will make future appointments that require cleanings much easier. Visit a site like http://www.childrensdent.com for more information.