Dental health expert Dr Scott Chao talks about how to care for your baby's first teeth. Keep reading for more information...
Your baby’s first tooth is a wonderful milestone and many parents cherish those gorgeous one-tooth smiles as much as they do those first toothless, gummy grins.
However, as more teeth start emerging, you many wonder how to look after your baby’s first teeth, and if dental care and hygiene for babies is as important as it is for older kids and adults.
To help answer some of the questions you may have about caring for your baby’s precious first pearly whites, we spoke to Dr Scott Chao of Dental Icon Pte Ltd.
Here’s what he had to say about how to look after your baby’s first teeth.
“When should I schedule my baby’s first dental appointment and how often should her dental appointments be?”
The general rule is “First tooth, First birthday, First dental visit.”
Follow-ups should be every 6 months for regular check-ups and maintenance. More frequent follow-ups may be needed, such as every 3-4 months, if the child has more severe oral health problems.
“When do I need to start cleaning my baby’s first tooth/teeth?”
You could start cleaning your baby’s mouth just weeks after birth even though he or she will most often be toothless (although some newborns are born with a tooth!).
Just use some gauze and distilled or tap water to clean out the slimy milky films off the palate, tongue, cheeks and gums. You could look after your baby’s first teeth when they emerge by following this same method.
“What’s the best way to maintain my baby’s dental hygiene at home?”
Try to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to how you look after your baby’s first teeth at home.
For small babies, gauze and distilled or tap water is adequate.
For toddlers, you could use a finger brush and whatever toothpaste the child chooses or likes (Dr Chao elaborates that for his own family, he uses ToothMousse).
Clean or brush your child’s tooth/teeth at least 2 times a day for best results. Ideally, you should be cleaning his or her teeth after each feeding or meal.
It’s especially important to clean your child’s tooth/teeth after any meals or feeding at night because the sugars from those meals that remain in your baby’s mouth are especially detrimental to their teeth.
Find out more about keeping your baby’s teeth clean on the next page…