Looking after a baby can be difficult, especially if you’re a first-time parent. On top of all the natural worries and concerns that come with parenthood, you’ve also got your baby’s teeth to think about.
So, in this blog post, we’ll answer some of our patients’ most frequently asked questions about how to look after a baby’s teeth.
When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
Most dentists recommend starting brushing a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth starts to appear. This is typically around six months of age.
How should I brush my babies teeth?
- Brush twice today. You should brush your baby’s teeth twice today, preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
- Only use a very small amount of toothpaste. It can be dangerous if your baby swallows a lot of toothpaste, so only use a tiny amount. The amount of toothpaste you use should only be about the size of a grain of rice.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. Many toothpastes for babies don’t contain any fluoride. However, this is a shame because fluoride helps to prevent cavities and strengthens enamel. So, check the packet of your baby’s toothpaste to make sure it contains fluoride.
- Use a baby toothbrush. Toothbrushes for babies come with very soft bristles and a small head, which is perfect for the mouths of little ones.
- Brush gently. Using the toothbrush and toothpaste, brush gently around each tooth. There’s no need to rinse the baby’s mouth afterwards since you’ll be using only a tiny amount of toothpaste.
At what age should a baby start going to the dentist?
Ideally, you should take your baby to the dentist within the first six months of the eruption of the first teeth or before the baby’s first birthday, whichever comes first. Even if there are no signs of any problems, it’s good to start taking children to the dentist early because it gets them used to the sights and sounds of the dental clinic.
Are there any foods that my baby should avoid?
Firstly, babies should avoid all foods containing added sugar because these can cause cavities. These are foods such as cakes, cookies, juice drinks, soft drinks, ice cream and some yoghurts.
In addition, you should be careful with foods that are naturally high in sugar. These include fruit, dried fruits, and fruit juice. Although fruit is healthy when eaten in moderate amounts, your baby should not be eating large amounts of fruit every day. Also, fruit juice should be off-limits for the babies under the age of one year because of the amount of sugar it contains.
Does my baby need fluoride?
Yes, your baby does need fluoride. This is because fluoride helps to prevent cavities, not just in adults but for babies as well. Fluoride is found in most brands of toothpaste as well as in drinking water in some parts of the UK.
However, while some fluoride is good for babies, too much fluoride is not, as it can lead to a condition known as fluorosis. With this condition, white spots will appear on your child’s adult teeth. This is why you should only use a small dab of toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth until your child is old enough to learn to spit the toothpaste out.
Call us for an appointment
If you’d like to make an appointment for your baby to see a dentist, then don’t hesitate to call us. One of our friendly receptionists will be more than happy to book an appointment for you!