care maintain baby teeth

How to Care for and Maintain Baby Teeth

At Southridge Pediatric Dentistry, we’re proud to serve as your comprehensive children’s dentist in South Jordan and surrounding areas. We offer services ranging from basic checkups and preventive care to fluoride treatments, dental X-rays and care for child dental emergencies, ensuring your child’s mouth is healthy and developing properly as they grow.

One particular group of children (and parents) we’re happy to assist with during some of the unique portions of their oral care: Babies and infants who are nearing the point of their first baby tooth growing in. Care of these teeth, and even the gums before they grow in, is vital for long-term oral health – let’s go over some basics on pre-tooth care, brushing baby teeth and preventing any risks of tooth decay or related issues.

Pre-Tooth Gum Care

Even before your child shows their first baby tooth, you should be taking the time to regularly care for their gums during their early months. Keep a piece of soft gauze or a moist washcloth present, and use it to wipe down your baby’s gums at least twice a day, and more often if they regularly have buildups in those areas.

Take particular care to wipe after feedings and directly before bed. This limits the presence of bacteria, which may stick to gums and leave behind a plaque that damages baby teeth even as they’re growing in.

Brushing New Teeth

Once your child’s baby teeth begin to grow in, there should be no delay: Begin brushing them right away. We recommend a soft-bristled brush with a small head and a large handle, which makes it easy to work with for any mouth.

During early tooth eruption, use a very small amount of toothpaste for your child. This can increase slightly as they age. Brush gently around all teeth that are present while also keeping an eye out for any brown or white spots or pits that show up – these could be signs of decay. Once your child becomes old enough to hold their own brush, they can begin brushing their own teeth, though you should supervise them for at least the first couple years here.

Preventing Decay Risks

One additional important area here, particularly for infants and very young children, is limiting tooth decay risks. We recommend finding tactics for preventing thumb-sucking, for instance, as this practice may lead to more bacteria in the mouth. We also strongly recommend never allowing your baby to fall asleep while nursing or with a bottle – this will allow milk or juice to pool around their teeth, which can in turn lead to bacteria formation and decay. Rather, be sure to brush and/or wipe after all such feedings and before bed.

For more on baby teeth and how to brush and care for them, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Southridge Pediatric Dentistry today.