Caring for The Oral Health Of New Babies

Caring for The Oral Health of Your New Baby

Bringing home a newborn baby is a thrilling experience. Before the baby arrives, a lot of details need to be taken care of to ensure that the baby has everything that they need. New parents are usually inundated with gifts for the baby and well-meaning advice from friends and family members.

One detail that is commonly overlooked, however, involves caring for the oral health of your new baby. Since babies aren’t born with teeth, a lot of people don’t think that they require oral care. In fact, however, caring for your baby’s mouth the right way can make a big difference in their health and happiness.

baby smiling

Check out the helpful advice below for some tips and suggestions

Oral Health Tips for Newborns

Breastfeeding not only provides babies with essential vitamins and nutrients, but it also can lead to better oral health. Compared to bottle feeding, breastfeeding is less likely to cause alignment problems like overbites. Tooth decay is also less likely to occur in babies who are breastfed than in babies who drink milk, juice, or formula out of bottles. The lower sugar content of breast milk minimizes the chances of cavities or tooth decay.

Most experts recommend cleaning the gums of your baby after feeding them. At a minimum, you should clean them two times each day, using a soft cloth and a small amount of water. The cleaning process removes leftover breast milk or formula, leaving the baby’s gums clean and fresh. Start by washing your hands, using soap and water to remove any germs. Next, moisten a soft cloth using clean, fresh water that is suitable for drinking. Drape a small section of the damp cloth over the tip of one of your fingers. Then, use it to gently wipe the top and bottom gums in your baby’s mouth. This simple tip helps limit bacterial growth, reducing the likelihood of oral health problems or tooth decay.

Tooth Decay Has Been Linked to Bacteria

Pay attention to anything that goes into your baby’s mouth. Tooth decay has been linked to bacteria. Anytime your baby puts an item in their mouth that hasn’t been properly cleaned or disinfected, they are introducing bacteria to their mouth. To reduce the number of bacteria your baby is exposed to, avoid using the same utensils as them. Any bottle nipples or pacifiers should be rinsed off using water rather than your saliva.

Know how to handle your child’s first teeth ahead of time. When your baby reaches anywhere from about 4 to 6 months old, their gums may become swollen and red. They also may begin to drool excessively. Gum inflammation can be soothed with special toys designed for teething or with a cold, damp washcloth. For most babies, their first tooth will appear any time between the ages of six and eight months. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean their teeth as they appear. Another way to minimize the risk of tooth decay is by avoiding bottles when your baby is in bed.

baby with teething ring

If you need more information about caring for the oral health of your newborn baby,  contact us at Collins Bay Dental.

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