A Guide to Maintaining Your Baby’s Oral Health


o matter how much we want to attain the perfect overall health for our children, there can still be times when things happen.  

Another thing making it hard for parents to judge when it’s time to bring their babies in for dental checkups is the lack of available information that can be understood by non-professionals.  

When it comes to oral health, children might experience problems early in their lives. The reason can be because of what they eat, the health of their teeth, and more.  For infants, it’s even harder to maintain oral health when you can’t even see where their teeth are. You might even be thinking that they don’t have any yet.  

Kids not as careful as adults are, and it’s important to watch their every move as often as possible. This will help us spot problems with not only their oral health but with other aspects of their health. Staying informed will help us through the years of watching our kids and their well-being.   

When is the right time for you to bring them to dentists?  

The term oral health doesn’t only cover a child after their teeth begin to grow. It’s still essential for parents to maintain their kids’ oral health even before their teeth come out. Just because teeth are not on the surface and can’t be spotted doesn’t mean that you can delay oral health maintenance.  

In fact, a baby’s teeth begin to form during the second trimester of a mother’s pregnancy. When your child is born, they already have a set of 20 primary teeth, but you won’t see them until they’re a few months older because they develop in the baby’s jaw.  

The American Dental Association (ADA) says that kids should be brought for dentist visits after they turn a year old. During the first visit, a children’s dentist will explain to you how you can best care for their oral health, given their age and oral health status.  

The dentist will teach you the applicable flossing, brushing, and cleaning techniques for your baby.

How do you care for a baby’s oral health?  

As there are already 20 primary teeth fully developed in their jaws, even if you can’t see them, they’re still primary targets of bacteria buildup. To take care of your offspring’s hidden teeth, you can use these methods:

  • Gently run a clean and damp cloth over their gums
  • When you see the first signs of teething, you can brush them with a toothbrush designed for infants. A tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste will do, but it’s best to consult a dentist for the best brands and types to use for your child. It’s best to check the brands for ADA seals.
  • Gently floss between two teeth that touch.
  • At two years old, your baby should develop the habit of spitting while their teeth are being brushed. Don’t give them water to swish and spit because it’s more likely for them to swallow the water mixed with the toothpaste.
  • Children aged three and older should only be using a pea-sized amount of the right toothpaste.
  • For children younger than eight years old, you should always watch them as they do so. They’re still likely to swallow toothpaste and may not be brushing properly, which can lead to oral health problems in the future.

As they grow, you should start watching what they eat and teach them the basics of oral care, such as proper brushing and flossing. In the case of infants, the best way to prevent problems with their oral health is to be consistent with cleaning and frequently check their mouths for signs of problems.  

Do babies get tooth decay?  

Baby teeth are subject to tooth decay. They consume food and bacteria builds up inside their mouths over time. It’s amplified by them putting their fingers and toes in their mouths as a habit.  

Sugar from milk, juice, and formula can stay on a baby’s set of teeth for hours and eat away at enamel—the layer that protects the tooth from decay. Letting this happen can lead to an oral problem called “bottle mouth” or “baby bottle tooth decay.”  

The oral problem can make your baby’s teeth pitted, pocked, and discolored. Cavities might also form, and if they get worse, your baby might need to meet a dentist for an extraction.

Overall, it’s never too early to ensure the oral health of kids. If you need more guidance, you can seek the advice of an expert.  


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