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Oral care tips for first-time parents

If you’re a first-time parent, you probably have your hands full working out your new routine and trying to know everything you can to make sure your baby stays healthy. Here, we’ve gathered 9 important dental tips that could help put your mind at ease and keep your baby smiling from birth onwards.

  1. Your baby’s teeth start to develop way before he or she is born. It’s important that moms keep a nutritious diet throughout her pregnancy. A mother’s oral health status is a strong predictor of her children’s oral health status. During your pregnancy, maintain good oral care, see your dentist and go to your hygiene (scale & polish) appointments.

    No child is too young for good oral hygiene.
  2. While you probably have a pediatrician to walk you through your baby’s medical health, chances are you don’t have a pediatric dentist yet to help you keep your baby’s oral health in check. Take your baby to a pediatric dentist as soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts, and no longer than his or her first birthday. Your first dental visit will be mostly educational, and this “well baby check” for teeth will give you all the tools you need to keep your baby cavity-free.

  3. No child is too young for good oral hygiene. Start cleaning your baby’s mouth and gums with a soft cloth or an infant toothbrush even before the teeth erupt. This is a great way of introducing oral care to your child.

  4. As soon as your baby’s tooth erupts, brush twice daily using a tiny smear (rice-size amount) of fluoride toothpaste. For children, 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure your child spits out excess toothpaste after brushing.

    SEE ALSO: Fluoride toothpaste: Is it safe for my child?

  5. Avoid early childhood caries. Clean your baby’s teeth and gums with a soft, damp cloth every after feeding. If your baby sleeps with a bottle, use nothing but water. A feeding bottle with sugary liquids such as milk (including formula and breastmilk) and fruit juices, puts your baby’s teeth under attack by bacterial acids in the mouth. It is recommended to wean your baby from the bottle by the age of one.

Pediatric Dentist in Dubai
  1. Speak to a pediatric dentist about your baby’s oral habits. Pacifier use and thumb sucking are not harmful at an early stage, but they could be a concern once they become a chronic habit. Prolonged sucking on pacifiers, thumb or fingers may affect your child’s teeth position and jaw alignment. A pediatric dentist will help you assess your child’s habits and find ways to stop them before they harm their developing permanent teeth.

  2. Keep these in mind if you choose to offer your baby a pacifier. To help avoid tooth decay, do not dip your baby’s pacifier in anything sweet. If your baby’s pacifier falls on the floor, use soap and water to clean it. Never “clean” pacifiers with your own. Avoid pacifier accidents. Do not attach a pacifier to your baby’s child’s crib or walker with a string, strap or cord. Inspect your baby’s pacifier and watch for signs of deterioration. The shield should be wider than your baby’s mouth. Also, do not substitute a bottle nipple for a pacifier.

    Pacifier use and thumb sucking are not harmful at an early stage, but they could be a concern once they become a chronic habit.
  3. Oral bacteria, including harmful ones, can be passed from mouth to mouth. Parents and caregivers should never share utensils, cups and straws with the baby. Anything shared that carries a drop of saliva may pass bacteria from one mouth to another.

  4. At birth, babies usually have 20 primary teeth (also called baby teeth, milk teeth or deciduous teeth) hidden within the gums. Children's teeth may start to erupt between 6 to 12 months of age, but this differs from one e child to another. On average, children usually have their full set of baby teeth in place by age 3. Classic signs of teething include irritability, excessive drooling, chewing on objects, and sore or tender gums. You can sooth your teething baby by gently massaging the gums with a clean finger or cloth, offering chilled teething rings or pain medication as advised by your doctor or dentist.

Are you a new parent and has questions about your baby’s oral health? Speak to our pediatric dentist or share your question below.

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