Your young infant doesn't have any teeth that have erupted just yet, but below the surface of that gummy smile is an entire mouthful of teeth that will eventually all come about. Keeping these teeth below the surface clean and healthy is important, but not all parents know what to do to keep them from rotting and coming out stained and in poor health. Read on for some dental care tips to help you take care of your infant's teeth.
Wipe Them Clean
Wipe your infant's teeth clean with a damp cloth after every feeding. Even if your infant is just drinking milk and using a bottle, their gums can accumulate with plaque and other bacteria that can lead to tooth rot below the surface of the gums. Wiping their gums clean can help keep their gums and teeth healthy. Use the damp cloth and wrap one finger with it, then wipe your baby's gums with the cloth. Wipe the tops and the bottoms of the gums with the cloth, getting the inside of the gums and the outside of the gums, much like you would brush your own teeth. Your baby may prefer some pressure on their gums, especially if their teeth are going to be erupting soon. The pressure may feel good on their gums.
Don't Allow Your Baby To Sleep With A Bottle
If you allow your baby to go to sleep with a bottle in their mouth, your infant could suffer from bottle rot, which will rot the teeth below the gums and can lead to gingivitis of the gums as well. If your baby doesn't want to go to sleep without a bottle, try using a pacifier instead of the bottle, but remove the pacifier when your infant falls asleep to prevent any damage to their teeth.
Take Your Infant To The Dentist
Take your infant to a pediatric dentist for dental checkups, even if they do not have erupted teeth just yet. The pediatric dentist can inspect your infants' teeth below the surface and check for any concerning oral health issues, which can be nipped in the bud before anything serious occurs with your baby's teeth. You should take your infant in for checkups every 6 months and should continue with this dental checkup routine throughout their lives.
You need to take care of your infant's teeth and gums, even before their teeth erupt in their mouths. Talk to a local pediatric dental specialist about other ways to take care of your infant's oral health.