Dental Care In Infancy

Are you expecting? Congratulations! You are about to take one of the most emotionally demanding and rewarding journeys you have ever taken, and will be one that involves you for the rest of your life. Naturally, you are probably just a little bit anxious to begin this journey, and are questioning yourself and your ability to become a parent. One of the many, many things running through your mind is the physical well being of the child, its nutrition, upon which so much is dependant on, and upon which so much media attention is focused, and of course its health. I intend to help out a little by giving some advice regarding the baby’s oral health.

Brushing

Before the baby has teeth, there should be no brushing going on at all, seeing as there is nothing to brush. However, during the time before the teeth erupt, it is important to clean the gums and the mouth frequently. Get some specialty toothpaste intend for use by infants, and rub that on the gums and around the mouth gently, with your finger or with a q-tip. I recommend using a finger, though, as physical contact with your child is rewarding, and soothes the child as well. And soothing s/he will need, as the teething that happens during infancy is very upsetting and painful for children to endure.

The use of toothpaste can begin as soon as six weeks into life. The idea behind using toothpaste this early is to break up the bacterial cultures that can start to live in the child’s mouth.

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What Not To Do

A baby has  very sensitive skin and the immune system is not very strong yet. Therefor, brushing with a brush is out of the question, as you will most surely damage the baby’s gums, and they will become infected. Using mouthwash or the equivalent of mouthwash is also a terrible idea, as babies cannot gargle, and they will just cry from the taste.

Anise

A good thing to use that breaks up bacterial biofilm is teething ointment made out of star anise. Anise is a known antibiotic, tastes natural and does not disrupt the delicate pH of an infant’s mouth. The ointment numbs the gums of the child, so when the teeth are coming, the child does not feel the pain as much, so the ointment is a double win. It can be bought at most health food stores, as well as most indian stores as well.    

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