For any new mom, it is truly a wondrous time. The little fingers, the little toes. Aren’t they just adorable?
They look at you, you look at them, and say, You had me at whannn.
That is, between 2am feedings, diapering, feeding, 4am feedings, bathing, rocking, 6am feedings. Sigh.
You feel the need . . . . the need for sleep.
As the weeks go by, your little one eventually falls into a routine. You hope.
But around 6 months or so, expect another change; this is when your baby is most likely to start teething.
Unless, of course, yours is an overachiever, in which case, this can happen earlier.
You’ve got the basics down (hey, anyone’s a pro after their 127th diaper change). So what the heck do you do now that your baby is trying to grow his or her first chopper?
Because you’re a busy mom (is there any other kind?), I’ve compiled a list of basic do’s and don’ts as a quick guide to help you so you can snooze instead of trying to do this yourself.
Please, hold the applause.
DO . . .
1. Keep your baby’s mouth clean
Elementary, my dear Watson. Yes, starting from babyhood, clean your baby’s mouth just as you would your own. Well, not exactly the same. Just grab a clean, wet washcloth, wrap around your finger and gently rub their gums. A couple of times a day is plenty, preferably after feedings.
2. Start brushing when the first tooth comes out
When that first tooth sprouts, it’s time to switch to a children’s soft toothbrush. Wet with water and gently brush once a day.
As more teeth join the ranks, you may use non-fluoridated toothpaste (small smear) on their toothbrush twice a day. A children’s fluoridated paste is not recommended till at least age 2 or 3, when they are able to spit.
3. Take your child to a dentist
The first check-up is recommended between 6 months and their first birthday. The dentist can make sure it’s all good in the hood, and growth is normal. They can also help answer any questions, and guide you on what to expect as more teeth come in.
Taking your little one in every 6 months is ideal, and builds a good foundation early on. Remember, if you build it, they will come.
4. Encourage a healthy diet
Leave the junk in the trunk. Literally. Offer your child healthy food options, and limit sugary snacks and drinks. You want cavities in baby teeth to be strangers, not friends.
On the flip side,
DON’T . . . .
1. Let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of anything other than water
Juice, formula and breast milk all have sugars that can pool in their little mouth and provide an unlimited buffet for decay-causing bacteria (also known as “baby bottle tooth decay”). This one’s a BIG no-no!
2. Give them over-the-counter teething ointments
The FDA recently issued a warning against these, so skip them. To soothe any teething pain, try teething rings instead.
3. Underestimate the importance of keeping baby teeth healthy
Yes, they’re the starter set, but keeping them cavity and infection-free sets the proper stage for the permanent ones to follow suit. Cavities may prevent your little one from chewing food, or worse, be painful. And nobody puts baby in the corner.
Learning to keep up with your baby is an ongoing journey. Just when you think you’ve got one thing down pat, here comes another. Although I hear the teenage years are a breeze.
But when it comes to taking care of baby’s teeth, take heart. You are now fully armed.
May the force be with you.
Have questions? Or thoughts to share? Let us know in the comments. Oh, and more cheesy movie lines are welcome too.
www.raodentistry.com (214) 522-3110
If you like what you see, please give us a share on Facebook or Twitter.