Bright healthy pearly whites are every individual’s fantasy. To make this fantasy come true it is essential to care for teeth right from the start. Not only our body, but even our teeth and gums require regular care and maintenance. Infant oral care is therefore of utmost importance. Dental care consists of cleansing your infant’s gums even before the first tooth pops out! Your baby will have a set of milk teeth and permanent teeth in his/her lifetime. Milk teeth are the precursors’ to the permanent set and they maintain and develop the gums and jawbones till the arrival of the permanent teeth. The child’s teeth help him chew, smile and speak effectively. So it is mandatory to establish a proper dental hygiene regimen since birth to decrease the incidence of dental decay and maintain perfect oral health.
We at Modesto Kidz Dental, are well-equipped to help you initiate the journey of your infant oral care in the appropriate manner.
The oral care needed to be undertaken is sketched out according to the age of the infant below:
Birth to 6 months of age Oral Health
- Religiously clean the infant’s gums after breastfeeding. Most important infant oral care step. For this, hold the infant with one arm and wrap a clean wet washcloth/gauze pad around the index finger of other hand and gently roll it over the infant’s gum tissues. Gently massage soft tissues to stimulate blood circulation.
- Nighttime breastfeeding should be avoided. Never put the baby to bed with a milk bottle in its mouth.
- Refrain from use of Infant formulas. Sufficient calcium is provided to the infant through breast milk.
- Never check bottle temperature or clean the pacifier using your mouth. It may transmit infectious microorganisms to your infant’s oral cavity increasing susceptibility to dental decay.
- Teething occurs at the age of 4-6 months. Infants usually become cranky and irritable at this time. A priorly chilled clean teething ring should be given to the infant to chew upon. This will help alleviate teething symptoms.
- Pacifier given to infants should be large enough with ventilating holes. Never dip a pacifier in honey or sweetened syrup when giving the baby.
All dental crown problems can be eliminated by selection of the proper type of dental crown.
6-12 months of age Oral Health
- Clean and massage gum tissues as described before.
- The first tooth of the child appears in this age gap. Once the teeth appear; use a small soft round headed toothbrush without toothpaste to clean the teeth. Make use of the teething ring.
- Acquaint yourself with the normal appearance of your infant’s gums and teeth. Regularly check for white/brown spots on teeth that may indicate dental decay.
- Nursing bottle given at night time and honey-dipped pacifiers are the major causative factors of nursing bottle caries or early childhood caries. Avoid these practices to keep this form of dental decay at bay.
- Begin weaning the baby from the bottle as the infant grows.
- Schedule the first dental appointment for the baby just before the first birthday.
12-18 months of age Oral Health
- Brush the child’s teeth daily with a soft-bristled round-headed toothbrush and plain water. Do not use toothpaste until 2 years of age.
- Check for home water fluoridation. Talk to the dentist for fluoride supplements if needed.
- Initiate intake of nutritious meals. Limit the frequency and intake of sweetened foods and beverages.
- Schedule a dental appointment for a regular oral checkup.
SELECTING AN INFANT TOOTHBRUSH
An Infant toothbrush is the inception to infant oral care. Acclimatizing the child to use a toddler toothbrush at an early age ensures your child accepts the toothbrush and institutes the solid foundation to routine long term oral hygiene.
The selection of the perfect infant toothbrush is dependent on the following factors:
Size and shape
Infant toothbrushes usually have a small head that can fit easily into the child’s mouth. The head is slightly rounded for ease of use in the mouth without injury to soft tissues. Ultra soft-bristled toothbrush is a must for happy little mouths.
Baby hands are small, soft and lack dexterity in gripping things. So for little learning hands, toothbrushes with large handle/body and a soft grip prove beneficial. Chunkier handles are easy to grab and help the child in developing muscle power.
The baby banana toothbrush is the best option with the smoothest and easiest handle ever designed for infants and toddlers. It has a banana-shaped handle that can be gripped tightly by small hands. It has a curved handle and is made of silicone. It can be also used as a teething ring alternative.
For those toddlers who are fussy and cranky, electric toothbrushes are a sure shot way to entice them to oral care in a fun manner. Electric toothbrushes are innovative, attractive and come in bright colors. They vibrate on a certain speed to ensure proper teeth cleaning. Some of them have a musical tune inbuilt which is activated on use. Toothbrushes in the shape of fun cartoon characters are also available. These powered toothbrushes form a stepping stone to making toothbrushing playful for all toddlers fearing oral care.
For toddlers below the age of two, toothbrushing with plain water is recommended. After 2 years, the use of pea-sized smear of non-fluoridated infant toothpaste should be introduced while toothbrushing. Toothbrushes should be changed after every 3 months or as and when you find the bristles frayed.
Baby finger toothbrushes are newly introduced to clean and brush the infant's teeth. It is a silicone based finger-shaped cap that is wearable on the index finger of an adult. This wearable brush is then used to clean the infant's teeth and gums.
For your child’s dental care, call us at (209) 273-4733 for Fluoride Application services in Modesto, CA . We are conveniently located at 2801 Coffee Road, Bldg. B, Modesto, CA 95358 .