All parents want the best for their baby. This obviously includes your little one’s overall health and well-being, but the difference between maintaining the health of an adult and a baby can be vastly different.
This can in turn make the prospect of parenthood for first time parents daunting, coupled with feelings of inadequacy at being the first line of protection for something so precious.
However, one area of your baby’s well-being that doesn’t need to be a minefield is their oral health.
When will my baby’s teeth begin to come through? What should I do?
The good news is that a baby’s teeth won’t become an issue until between 4 and 7 months, giving you plenty of time to prepare! Of course, teething doesn’t begin at a set time in a baby’s development and you shouldn’t panic if teething begins before this time span.
Teething doesn’t always come with the infamous pain and discomfort many think it is associated with, but one other indication to look out for is an increase in the amount of chewing your baby does. Chew toys can be very helpful for teething, as can gently messaging the gums of your baby.
Painkillers such as aspirin are best avoided unless you purchase brands made specifically for children and infants. It is recommended that you consult a medical professional before doing so. Teething gels can also be useful, but again, you should consult with a professional before using them.
During teething a lot of mothers stop breastfeeding and switch to bottle feeding. While there is nothing wrong in doing this, breastfeeding doesn’t necessarily need to be stopped because of teething. If you do decide to use a bottle, only milk or water should be used, but then only milk until your baby is one year old. The baby shouldn’t be left alone with the bottle in a crib at night, because the teeth coming through are susceptible to decay.
How should I look after my baby’s first tooth?
While it is highly recommended to begin cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through, a baby toothbrush shouldn’t be used until the first year. Before this, a wet cloth should be used rather than a toothbrush. Toothpaste is another thing that shouldn’t be introduced until the time of your baby’s first toothbrush, and the toothpaste should be specifically for babies and contain no fluoride.
Dentist visits can be scary the first few times for your baby, which is why it is often advised to take them with you when you have your own appointments. This can be done even before their first teeth begin to come through, in order to familiarise them with the surroundings of a dental practice.
Your baby’s first actual check-up should not be must longer after their teeth begin coming through, though one during the teething process can also be helpful to check that they are coming through properly. All babies should have a check up before their first birthday at the latest.
So, how does your baby stack up in terms of oral health? Or, are you expecting a little one sometime soon and beginning to think about all the problems … I mean joy ahead?
This article was written solely for My Light Weight Strollers by Lewis from the cosmetic dentistry guide where there is information relating to all aspects of dentistry, whether you are concerned about your baby’s oral health or your own.