Taking Care of Baby - Delta Dental of Washington

Taking Care of Baby - Delta Dental of Washington
Taking Care of Baby
How do you do it?
Brush with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily and floss every day.
Use fluoride rinse before bedtime to help rebuild teeth.
Chew gum with xylitol (a natural sweetener that reduces the
cavity-causing germs in the mouth) four to five times a day,
especially after eating.
Limit sweet and high-carbohydrate snacks, such as soda, candy,
crackers and chips. These foods feed the germs that live in the
mouth and cause cavities. When you do eat these foods, brush
afterwards. If brushing is not possible, rinse your mouth with water.
Continue to get regular dental care while pregnant. This includes
preventive care, along with fillings and emergency dental services
as needed. Receiving dental care while pregnant is safe and recommended. Once you have a newborn baby, it will be hard to find the
time to get to the dentist, so do it now.
If you have nausea and vomiting, it is important to reduce the acid
in your mouth (it can damage your teeth).
Eat small amounts of nutritious snacks during the day.
If you vomit, rinse your mouth. Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in
a cup of water and use this to rinse. Be sure to spit after rinsing.
Do not brush right after vomiting; this can damage the surface
of your teeth.
First steps to your baby’s
oral health
You can start taking care of your baby’s oral
health even before your little one’s teeth come
in. Cavities can happen as soon as the first tooth
pokes through, so its important to clean infant
teeth and gums regularly.
Get started with cleaning
Before teeth begin to come in, gently clean
your baby’s gums with a clean soft cloth after each
feeding. This will help your baby get used to having his gums (and later
teeth) cleaned. As soon as your baby’s teeth start to come in, you can
begin to clean his teeth and gums with a small soft toothbrush and a
smear of fluoridated toothpaste — about as big as a grain of rice.
Preventing early decay at bedtime
If you give your baby a bottle or sippy cup at nap time or bedtime,
be sure it contains water only. Juice, formula, milk and breast milk
can cause tooth decay.
Tips to Make Cleaning Easier
“Getting in the habit of cleaning Mason’s mouth even before he
had teeth made it easier to brush his teeth as they came in.”
–Sarah, Olympia, WA
Try placing your baby’s head in your lap to
make it easier to brush. Gently stabilize your
baby’s head.
Lift or lightly press your baby’s lips away from the teeth.
Use a small soft toothbrush. Brush every surface of your baby’s
teeth. Move the brush in tiny circles. You can use a clean damp
cloth instead of a brush if you and your baby prefer. Use a smear
of fluoridated toothpaste — about as big as a grain of rice.
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7
Here Come
the Baby Teeth
Protect your baby from the germs that cause tooth decay
Preparing for your child’s first tooth
Be careful not to put things – food, pacifiers, utensils – in your mouth
and then in your baby’s mouth. Many parents “clean” pacifiers by
putting them in their mouths and then giving them back to their babies,
but cavity-causing germs are easily passed to infants and toddlers this
way. Germs can also be shared when parents test food or share utensils
with their child. No matter how careful you are, your baby will get some
of your germs, so keeping the germs down by taking care of YOUR oral
health is important.
Teething usually starts around 6 months of age,
and most children have all 20 of their baby teeth
by age 3. Recording baby teeth as they come in
is a great way to keep track of your baby’s
development. On page 36 of this booklet you
will find a chart that you can use to record your
child’s teeth as they come in.
Signs of teething
Drooling and fussiness.
Baby Teeth Are Important!
Dental disease is the most common chronic
disease of early childhood. Cavities and decay in
baby teeth can also spread to permanent teeth, causing
painful and costly damage. BUT YOU CAN PREVENT THIS!
Regular preventive care and a healthy diet can help prevent decay.
Also, remember to schedule your child for an oral health screening
by her first birthday.
You may be able to feel or even see teeth
pushing in under your child’s gums.
Comforting your teething baby
Offer a cold, firm, safe and clean teething object,
like a teething ring or slightly frozen damp washcloth.
Rub your child’s gums gently with a clean finger.
Clean your baby’s teeth and gums with a soft, clean,
cool damp cloth if a soft toothbrush is uncomfortable.
Healthy baby teeth:
Allow your child to chew and eat properly
Help your child speak clearly
Shape your baby’s face
Guide adult teeth into place
Dental decay in baby teeth affects your child’s overall health.
“Henry started crying a lot at about 6 months. At first
I was worried something was wrong. When I realized
it was his teeth coming in, a cold teething ring was
all he needed to make us both feel better.”
Cavities can be painful
– Sarah, Seattle, WA
Cavities can interfere with your child’s ability to eat well
Dental disease can affect your child’s overall health
and development
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