Congratulations on the arrival of your baby! Are you prepared for the arrival of your baby’s first tooth? Follow these guidelines and your son or daughter will be on the way to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Caring for Gums
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, parents are encouraged to start wiping their child's mouth after feedings. This will accomplish two things, first it bonds your child with you and second it gets the child used to having someone go into their mouth daily to gently wipe it clean.
After breast- or bottle-feeding, wrap one finger with a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze and gently rub it across your baby’s gum tissue. This practice both clears your little one’s mouth of any fragments of food and begins the process for building good daily oral care habits.
Baby’s First Tooth
When that first tooth makes an entrance, it’s time to begin the process of hardening each new tooth that erupts. This is accomplished by wiping the surface of the teeth clean to allow the saliva to reach the surface. If there is too much plaque buildup then mother nature cannot do her job. If you like you can also use a small smear of OTC fluoridated toothpaste a few times a week to accelerate the hardening. This can be controversial for many so I am agnostic to this practice.
First Visit to the Dentist
It’s recommended that you bring your baby in for a visit within six months of the first tooth’s eruption – usually around his or her first birthday, I can check to make sure you are on the right track.
Setting a Good Example
As part of the natural learning process, little ones are expert mimics, and you can take advantage of this talent. Brush and floss daily while your child is watching, and he or she will learn at an early age the importance of your good habits.