Little Rock Dentist asks “DO YOU PERFORM ORAL HYGIENE FOR YOUR BABY?”
Infants are at risk of getting gum disease, if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. Preventing dental problems in the early stages of child development is essential. Oral hygiene simply entails cleaning of the mouth, gums and teeth. Do you wonder why an infant would require oral hygiene?
Reasons Why Infants Require Oral Hygiene
- Infants normally put their fingers in the mouth and this could be a source of germs that can cause oral infections
- After feeding the child, food particles or drink droplets remain in the mouth; growth of bacteria and their action of converting sugar to acid lowers the pH of the mouth resulting in inflammation of the gums.
- Babies fed from a bottle of juice, baby formula or milk during naps face the danger of tooth decay
- Oral hygiene helps a child grow healthy milk teeth
Great Oral Hygiene Tips for a Baby
- After feeding your child, use a clean soft water-soaked washcloth to clean the gums and eliminate food remnants. Do this gently to avoid damaging the child’s soft tissues
- When the milk teeth begin to show up, use a toothbrush with small soft bristles to gently brush the child’s teeth
- Discourage the child from sucking the thumb
- At two to three years of age show your child how to brush teeth by themselves
- Cultivate the culture of oral hygiene in the child so as to make a habit
- Do not nurse the child from a bottle during naps or at night
- If you want to remove anything from a baby’s mouth make sure your fingers are thoroughly clean
- Do not feed the baby using the same spoon you are using because this can spread infections to the child.
Oral Health Risk Assessment
Assessment of the child’s oral health vulnerability by specialist healthcare provider is recommended from the age of about six months. This is done to ascertain the risk of getting oral infections and dental caries.
Always check the baby’s mouth and gums for any abnormalities. The earlier a problem is detected, the better the chances of correcting the situation. As the teeth begin to show up check the position and angle of growth.
A Baby’s Diet for Healthy Teeth
A baby’s diet should include plenty of vitamin C, present in fruits and calcium, found in milk. These are needed for the proper formation of strong bones and teeth.
Breast milk is very crucial since it contains most of these nutrients for a baby’s balanced diet. Remember to give the child clean drinking water. Water contains essential minerals and helps clean up the baby’s mouth.