Taking care of little baby teeth also includes looking after his gums
You can start caring for your baby's gums by wiping them with a piece of gauze or a soft, moist washcloth every day. It is important to wash his gums three times a day. Cleaning his gums would keep off the bacteria and remove the sticky plaque that may stick to the gums. Once he begins to sprout teeth, you can clean them with a soft toothbrush. The toothbrush should have a small head and a large handle.
Many parents neglect to take care of their baby's first teeth because they are temporary, and hence are not important enough. Your baby's first teeth are equally important because they preserve the spacing for the permanent ones. If the temporary ones are not looked after properly, they would eventually lead to gum infections, like gingivitis for instance, and this would affect the permanent teeth as well. Avoid the occurrence of cavities because that is equally bad. To avoid cavities stop giving him the bottle (especially when there is a sugary drink inside it, but plain water is fine) during the bedtime. If your baby has eaten sticky or sugary foods, then clean his teeth gently with a toothbrush or a thimble-like cleaner.
The ideal age for visiting a dentist
Irrespective of whether your baby has problems with his teeth or not, you must take his first visit to the dentist by his first birthday. The dentist would give you advice on how to look after your baby's teeth, what to do in case of thumb sucking, how to maintain dental hygiene and give general awareness about teething and teething problems.
Once the little pearls start showing itself
It is better to avoid sugary drinks in a bottle. If you want to give his fruit juices, ensure he doesn't take it to bed. If you want to give your baby something to drink before he sleeps, make sure it is just water. Also avoid dabbing the pacifier with honey and other sweet things because it would cause the bacteria to attack on his gums. Avoid sweetening his milk too much because the sugar can settle on his teeth and this would lead to acid attack causing the teeth to decay right when it sprouts itself.
Preparing your baby for his first dental visit
By the time your baby is one, he would begin to be wary of strangers, so you must be prepared to deal with adverse circumstances when you take your baby for his first dental visit. Your baby who enjoyed and charmed his way through the waiting room would probably be a curled ball of terror when he sees all the fancy equipments in the dentist's room, especially if he had seen you struggling with your own teeth.
Choosing a kid-friendly dentist is important. Let the child accompany you when you visit your own dentist. It would help the child relax in the room and understand that no life-threatening situation is going to happen within the room. You can also observe how staff handles little children in the room and this would help you decide to go with the dentist or not.
The dentist's room must be prepared in such a way that it should seem welcoming for the child. And cleanliness is of paramount importance.