Teething Time: How To Take Care Of Your Baby's Dental Health

Posted on: 28 March 2017

With the arrival of a new baby into your house, it can be hard to remember all the little health considerations that you have to keep in mind for your newest addition. When you're checking for health conditions like colic, food allergies, colds, ear infections, diaper rash, cradle cap, and other sicknesses, it can be hard to remember to keep your baby's dental health in mind. But once that first tooth starts poking through and you have to leave the rag you've been cleaning their gums with aside for a toothbrush, you're going to have to make a plan on how to deal with the teeth that will keep arriving. So if you're looking for a few reminders for the important actions to take for your baby's dental health, then here's what you need to know.

Don't Be Rough

Just like your baby is more sensitive to temperature and thus has to wear one more layer than you in order to be comfortable, their teeth and gums are also much more sensitive than your own, and so you have to be sure to be extra careful. Use only an extra-soft toothbrush for their teeth and gums, and ensure you're using baby-safe toothpaste rather than just using the toothpaste you and the rest of your family use; baby toothpaste is generally safe if swallowed, which is a good thing as your baby isn't going to know to spit out the toothpaste.

Beware the Binky

Binkies (also called pacifiers or fussbuttons, among others) are incredibly useful for those times when your baby will not stop crying, especially when you're out in public. However, for the sake of your baby's teeth, it's a good idea not to overly rely on the binky, especially at nighttime. Constantly sucking on anything (most often binkies or thumbs, though bottles – see below – are also a repeat offender) while your baby's teeth are growing in can make them form a jagged smile and grow in at an incline and point forward. To avoid this, start weaning your baby off of their binky at about 6 months to a year, letting them pick another object (such as a toy or a blanket) that can help soothe them without hurting their teeth in the process.

Watch the Drink

Bottles are great for feeding your baby, whether you're using formula or breast milk, but they can cause problems for your baby's new teeth. Just like a pacifier, having your child constantly suck on the top of a bottle can hurt their teeth, but more than that, sending your child to bed with a bottle of milk will expose their new teeth to the sugars in milk overnight, which can rot the teeth and irritate your baby's gums. If you're really intent on putting your child to bed with a bottle, swap out the milk for water; this way your baby still gets to cuddle up with their bottle, but their teeth are safe and protected.

For additional information, check out websites like http://www.childrensdent.com.