The Role of Early Infant Oral Care in Long-Term Dental Health

Do you know that starting your baby’s oral health care journey in the first year of life may have a lifelong positive effect on their dental health? When it comes to babies, “prevention is better than cure.” Developing proper oral habits during infancy can set your baby up for healthy teeth and gums for many years to come. In this blog, we explore how early infant oral care plays a significant role in long-term dental health. Read on to learn more about what steps you need to take now so that your little one won’t suffer from cavities or other problems in the future.

It is important to understand that babies have different oral hygiene needs than adults. This means that the types of dental treatment children need are often different from those that an adult may require. Starting an early infant oral care routine is easier than you might think. From day one, parents should use a clean washcloth wrapped around their index finger to gently wipe gums after feeding as this can help remove bacteria from the surface of the gums. 

As soon as baby teeth begin to erupt (usually around 6 months old), brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water is recommended. A tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) can be used from 18 months onwards, but this should only be used under supervision to ensure that your child does not swallow it.

In addition to brushing and cleaning gums, Dental Home is a concept developed by the AAP, ADA and AAPD to promote early infant oral care as an integral part of preventive dental health. The concept promotes that every child should have an established relationship with a dentist in their local community who provides comprehensive prevention-based care from infancy through adulthood. This primary dentist, or “dental home”, can help parents learn proper techniques for cleaning their baby’s teeth while also providing guidance on diet and nutrition for developing teeth. It’s important to make these checkups fun and enjoyable to help children learn about oral healthcare in a positive way.

Finally, to ensure that your baby is getting all the necessary dental care they need, make sure they are eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar and starches. Offer them plenty of water and encourage them to chew foods like crunchy fruits and vegetables that help keep their teeth clean. Also, you should avoid giving them sugary snacks or drinks before bedtime as this can increase their risk of developing cavities during nighttime hours when saliva production decreases.

In summary, early infant oral care is essential for establishing a healthy foundation for your baby’s dental health. Establishing good habits in the first year of life and visiting the dentist regularly can help ensure that your little one’s teeth stay strong and healthy for years to come. And if your kid is due for its dental care routine, contact us today at Kidz & Family Dental Center. We offer exceptional early infant oral care services so that you can give your bundle of joy the bright smile they deserve! Schedule an appointment with us today!

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