Many parents do not pay attention to the oral care of their young ones until the first tooth pops out. That’s when they begin wondering if and how to clean the baby’s mouth. There are useful articles at DRDentistsLiverpool.com.au/blog that will help you ensure an optimal oral care for your newborn. This is necessary as oral care should begin from day one. Cleaning the baby’s gum after every feed helps to get rid of sugar and bacteria capable of hurting his or her gums. Practicing newborn oral care as soon as possible ensures that the baby gets used to it, and as such, carries on effortlessly once he/she is old enough to take care of his/her oral hygiene.
How do you clean an infant’s mouth?
Of course, your infant isn’t old enough to start using a toothbrush. Wrap a clean, moistened soft cloth around your index finger, and rub your baby’s gums gently. That’s just it! However, newborn oral care goes beyond cleaning the gums. Parents can practice other activities designed to kick-start the oral health of their children as early as possible. Below are some effective and practical tips:
- Be careful about what you put in the mouth of your baby, or what they put in their mouths. Tooth decay and cavities are as a result of bacteria, and therefore, considered as an infection. To be on the safe side, avoid putting something that has been in your mouth, in your newborn’s mouth including utensils and toothbrushes. Note that some bacteria are transferable. Also, remember to clean his/her pacifier and bottles with warm water, rather than saliva.
- Resist the urge to put your baby to bed with a bottle. Instead, prop it in his/her mouth, or let him/her feed only at will. In any case, you don’t want to leave sugary stuff in your baby’s mouth for a long period which can cause tooth decay. While the teeth aren’t visible yet, they are underneath the gum and therefore prone to decay and cavities even before they crop up.
- Your angel may begin teething by the fourth to sixth month. The red and swollen gums, accompanied by an increased flow of saliva, shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. Make this stage easy by offering her a cold, wet washcloth, or a clean teething ring. Consider chilling the teething ring since cold temperatures soothe the gums better.
To ensure the optimum newborn oral care, every member of the family, including the caregiver, should pursue a healthy decay-free mouth. The importance of brushing teeth twice daily will significantly help in delaying the transfer of bacteria to the newborn’s mouth.