When your baby’s first teeth come in, you may be uncertain about the best way to protect his or her oral health. Actually, proper dental care begins before teeth even appear! Fortunately, your La Jolla family dentist can provide guidance from the time you are expecting your baby up through the teenage years. Additionally, while at-home care is important, you should also make an appointment for your little one at a very young age. You should schedule an appointment with your San Diego family dentist about six months after his or her first teeth come in. At this time, Dr. Georgaklis will clean your baby’s teeth, and he will provide further advice about correct dental care.
Protect Yourself and Your Baby before Birth
Even before your child is born, it is important to pay attention to your own dental health. When you are expecting, hormone fluctuations will put you at a higher risk for gum disease. Though pregnancy gingivitis is fairly common, it is important to keep the condition under control. Otherwise, bacteria can travel from your gums through your blood stream, affecting the health of your unborn baby. In fact, periodontal disease is a common cause of premature birth. Nevertheless, when you take care of your dental health and visit your San Diego family dentist during pregnancy, you can maintain both your smile and your child’s safety.
Caring for Baby’s Oral Health during the First Months
As soon as your baby is born, it is important to begin regular dental care. Wipe down his or her gums with a piece of gauze or a soft cloth, especially after eating. This will remove oral bacteria and sugars. Without proper maintenance, these bacteria can affect a baby’s teeth as they are coming in, greatly increasing the risk for cavities later down the road.
Visit a San Diego Family Dentist as Soon as Teeth Start to Come in
Typically, a baby’s first teeth will erupt at around six months. At this time, it is important to schedule an appointment with your family dentist. Even one tooth is subject to decay. When you begin dental care early, you can more effectively prevent cavities in adulthood. You should continue to schedule regular checkups, typically at six month intervals. At home, you should also protect your little one’s oral health by brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste. Once your baby has two or more teeth that are touching, you should start to floss. Be very gentle and use a gliding, rather than a snapping, motion to protect your baby’s sensitive gum tissue. As with adults, it is especially important to brush and floss after meals. Although it may be tempting to allow your baby to take his or her bottle to bed, you should only do so if it is filled with water. When your child drinks milk or formula as he or she goes to sleep, it can significantly raise the risk for cavities.
Schedule an Appointment with Your La Jolla Family Dentist
To learn more about how to care for your baby’s teeth and to book his or her first dental appointment, contact our office today. George Georgaklis, DDS is highly regarded for his friendly approach and outstanding care for all ages.