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Even though babies will lose their first set of teeth, it’s essential to keep those teeth clean. To begin with, good dental care also includes cleaning your baby’s gums, which are here to stay. It’s also important to establish a habit of healthy dental care with your baby early on. Making dental hygiene an expected and even enjoyable experience for your baby will go a long way at preventing cavities and other nasty gum and tooth ailments when your baby becomes a child, teenage, and adult.

Getting Your Baby Used to Dental Care

The more you can accustom your baby to having fingers and objects in her mouth early, the better. Start with a washcloth to gently massage your baby’s gums. As you know, gums can become very sensitive if not taken care of, so being proactive will help avoid any gum inflammation in the future. A soft, gentle finger toothbrush can also help massage and clean plaque and bacteria away from gums. There’s no need to use anything but mild to warm water when caring for your baby’s gums. Try to make the experience as soothing as possible, so don’t scrub abrasively. Getting your baby used to a cloth on her gums can come in handy when she’s teething and needs to find relief from a cold washcloth on the gums and teeth. You can start caringyou’re your baby’s gums at any age, including in infancy.

Brushing Little Teeth

Beyond gum care, it’s really important to start brushing your baby’s teeth. Choose a toothbrush that has very soft bristles and a longer handle. Some toothbrushes are designed for a baby’s small mouth and will have a small bristle head. You’ll need to choose a gentle toothpaste that’s appropriate for babies. Babies will inevitably swallow a lot of what you put in their mouths inadvertently, so you’ll need to buy a special paste just for them. Some people opt for a natural or organic paste rather than one with added ingredients that may not be safe or necessary for babies at a young age. Start brushing your baby’s teeth with a paste at around 1 year of age. According to WebMD, you can begin brushing your baby’s teeth with fluoride paste at around age 2, but not earlier than that.

Letting Your Baby Help

If you have children, you know that they love to help their parents and siblings with tasks and chores. In fact, some babies get frustrated when they can’t hold something you’re holding. Use her dental care routine as a perfect opportunity to encourage this helping desire. Get your baby used to holding a toothbrush and moving it back and forth in her mouth. This will encourage independent dental care that will really come in handy when your baby turns into child and you want to have the freedom to send your child off to brush her teeth without having to hover over the progress. Of course, your baby won’t be able to manage on her own for a while, but if you start early, your baby will get really familiar with dental care and it will become part of the normal routine. Above all, though, modeling healthy and regular dental care routine to your baby will encourage healthy teeth and gums. Brush your teeth along with your baby and make it a bonding experience.