It can be both an exciting and a frustrating time when your baby's first tooth pokes through the gum; on the one hand, it means your little angel is growing more and more out of the baby stages and into childhood – but on the other hand, it means you have one more health worry to be concerned over. How do you know what to do with your baby's teeth to keep them as healthy as they can be? If you're looking for tips for keeping your baby's dental health as good as it possibly can be, then here's what you need to know.
Bye Bye, Bottle (and thumb, and pacifier, and…)
Giving your baby a bottle at night is a long-held method of soothing them at night – but after that first pearly while pokes through, you're going to want to keep the bottle safely out of reach once bedtime hits. Prolonged sucking can make your baby's teeth crooked (or even decay, if the bottle is filled with milk or formula), so make sure not to give them a pacifier for large amounts of time, and try to discourage your baby from sticking their thumb in their mouth as much as possible.
Brush, Floss, Repeat
Even though they're small and will eventually fall out to make way for adult teeth, it's still important to start good dental health habits early to keep your baby's mouth as clean as possible – and to ensure they'll take care of their permanent teeth. Make sure to brush and floss your baby's teeth regularly, waiting at least a half hour after eating to brush (so that any acids in food won't cause the toothbrush to brush away the softened enamel), and use soft, baby-sized toothbrushes so that your tiny one won't associate brushing with discomfort.
Bring them in for a checkup
You may think it's too early to set your angel in the dentist's chair and wait for them to open wide – but in the world of cavity prevention, earlier is always better. Once your baby cuts their first tooth, it's a good idea to bring them in to see the dentist within about 6 months or so. Where one tooth grows, others will follow more quickly than you can imagine, and a large part of healthy teeth is getting regular checkups so that the dentist can nip any potential problems in the bud before they spiral into actual decay. When in doubt, ask your dentist when they'd recommend to bring your baby in for a checkup.
If you have questions about other dental care matters such as dental implants, speak to a dentist in your area.