Teething. You might know it as that time in your infant’s life where they constantly cry in pain and chew on anything they can mash into their mouths. Of course teeth emerging means more than just weeping and gnashing of teeth, it means your have another thing to include in your regiment of child-rearing; brushing your child’s teeth.
Brushing a child’s teeth is crucial to maintaining oral health for your baby. In fact, oral hygiene begins before the first teeth come in! Before we go over proper care for your baby’s teeth, let’s talk about what could cause your baby to have discolored teeth.
Baby teeth usually come in a quaint shade of off-white or ivory, but they can become discolored for any number of reasons.
If you don’t brush your baby’s teeth properly, and at the proper times, plaque can form on their teeth. Yes, the same gross plaque that we fight as adults show no mercy children’s teeth. This plaque can lead to a typical yellowing of the teeth that we see as adults.
Some infant medications can contain iron (found in certain vitamin supplements). This iron has a chance to cause dark stains on your baby’s teeth.
Subsequently, if the mother takes antibiotic tetracycline during pregnancy, the same effect can be had.
A genetic or developmental problems may arise during the formation of enamel. If this is the case, take extra care when caring for their teeth and make sure they see a dentist regularly.
If your child develops jaundice after birth, their teeth may begin to green. See a doctor immediately.
Fluoride is an e useful chemical for adults, but infants have a much lower tolerance for the stuff than we do. If you see white streams or markings on the teeth, then be careful about mixing too much fluoridated water into your baby’s diet. These white spots are a sign of enamel fluorosis.
A widespread infection has the chance to discolor a babies teeth. If you suspect that your child might be sick with something instead of simply having too much fluoride or not having enough brushing, see a doctor immediately.
Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth
Good oral health for a baby comes from good habits in yourself. You need to make sure their teeth, and before that their gums, receive the proper care every day.
Wash your baby’s gums twice a day with a soft, damp cloth or gauze pad. Also clean them after each meal to ensure there are no stray food particles hanging out in there just waiting to become food for bacteria.
Brush your baby’s teeth twice a day and after each meal. Use a children’s non-fluoridated mouthwash and be gentle but throughout. Make sure your toothbrush has soft bristles.
- Until your child learns to spit, use toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.
- Avoid filling your child’s bottle with any sugary drinks, and definitely no soda.
- Don’t put baby to bed with a bottle.
- Don’t share eating utensils with your baby, this can spread cavity-causing bacteria.
- If your baby uses a binky, don’t dip it in anything sugary.
If you take care of your baby well, you’re well on your way to instilling good oral habits throughout their life. When they need to go to a dentist, remember Hospital Dental Group located in downtown Hartford CT. Fill out the form on the right, or call the number at the top or bottom of the page for more information about this blog or with any questions about how we can help you and your children. Thanks for reading!