Friday, October 27, 2006

Day 249 - Get in the Habit - Dental Hygeine

Today's first time parenting tip - Once your baby's teeth start to come in, brush their teeth and gums at the end of the day.

Part 2 of the Good Habit series - Good dental hygeine

Have you been caring for your baby's teeth before they come in? You should already be gently wiping their gums with a damp washcloth or guaze in order to prevent harmful bacteria from building up even before their teeth come in.

Once the primary teeth do arrive, you can start using a soft, infant baby brush or some guaze to wipe their teeth and gums. Don't use flouride toothpaster just yet, your dentist will probably recommend beginning that around 2 or 3, when your child is old enough to not swallow the toothpaste.

My son loves the feeling of the toothbrush on his gums. He laughs and laughs. If your baby fusses, do as well as you can, but don't force the issue. THe main thing here is to avoid harmful bacteria, obviously, but also to begin forming the good dental habits you want your children to develop. Just like solid food, it may take a few times, but keep at it, be patient.

You should also schedule your baby's first dental appointment by their first birthday. Then, make sure they go back to visit once every six months.

And lastly, don't put your baby to bed with food or a bottle. They could develop bottle mouth, a condition where their teeth become pitted, and may even develop cavities. Sometimes, their primary teeth have to be pulled. While it may be convenient, its not worth it in the long run to put a baby to bed with a bottle.

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