By: ABDULMALIK ADETOLA
Baby's teeth are essential for a healthy life. Babies start to grow teeth in the first three months after birth. However, the first tooth is developed through the baby's gum between four and seven months.
For babies, teething is painless. Mom must protect the gentle milk teeth from germs and irritation.
This article discusses when and how to start brushing babies' teeth.
When To Start Brushing Baby's Teeth
As kids begin teething, they feel like chewing on things (toys, plastics, food etc.). Some babies have periods of irritability for weeks. They cry, and may suffer sleeping and eating pattern disruption. Teething can be uncomfortable, and if you notice the baby seems very unwell, talk to your doctor.
Although tender and swollen gums could cause the baby's temperature to rise a little bit than normal, teething doesn't usually cause high fever or diarrhea. If your baby does develop a fever during the teething phase, something else is probably causing the fever, and you should contact your doctor.
Starting at birth, use a clean, damp washcloth, a gauze pad or a finger brush to gently wipe clean the gums and the front of the tongue after meals and at bedtime — after the last bottle or nursing session.
You should start tooth brushing as soon as your baby's first tooth pops out. Pediatric dentists prefer you use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush moistened with water and a smear of fluoride toothpaste. A pediatric dentist or your pharmacist can help you find the finger brushes and a proper baby toothpaste.
How to Brush Your Baby's Teeth
You start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as possible.
At first, you consider the type of brush to use on your baby's milk teeth. As suggested, choose a :
- small head
- and a large handle brush.
Then, wet the brush for a few minutes in warm water to soften the bristles. Ensure you purchase a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that protects and strengthens the teeth against tooth decay. However, you should avoid harsh and abrasive ingredients, chemicals like sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), and essential oils which can be harmful to your baby.
Babies' toothpaste is designed to be swallowed. They are flavored to encourage brushing. The chemicals used for these toothpastes cause no harm to babies; instead, they keep babies healthy. Always check out the toothpaste ingredients before purchasing at any supermarket.
Read Also: How To Make Bath Time Fun For Your Baby
How To care For Babies Gum
Instead of toothpaste and toothbrush for your baby, you can take these steps to protect your infant's gum:
- Get clean, moisturized wet clothes
- Wipe the baby's gum gently at least once or twice a day
- Wipe your baby after every meal and before bedtime.
Caring for your baby's teeth is important to maintain healthy habits. Although these teeth aren't permanent, and babies lose them afterwards to grow permanent ones, ensure that they learn how to care for them and minimize the risk of cavities and other dental health concerns.