Proper dental hygiene for your infant should begin shortly after your child is born. After every feeding, you should use a clean, warm wash cloth to gently cleanse the inside of the infant’s mouth. What this will do is help the child to reduce the chances of getting thrush, a treatable fungal infection caused by yeast. This often appears in areas of the mouth that may have torn tissue, caused by the constant sucking of a pacifier, bottle, or during breastfeeding. The tiny tears remain moist and, if not removed manually, the yeast may cause the painful condition of thrush.
Signs of Thrush may include:
- White patches that appear to coat the tongue, inside tissue of the cheek, and gums
- Irregular-shaped patches that are not able to be wiped away, sticking to the tissue
- Pain when feeding or using a pacifier
If left untreated, a nursing mother may develop thrush on her breast, although is not typically considered contagious. See your doctor or dentist and he may prescribe a medication to clear up the infection.
Baby Teeth and Teething – What to Expect
Teething can begins around 3 months old but typically begins when your child is 6 to 7 months old.
Signs of teething may include:
- Excessive drooling
- “Gumming” or biting
- Appearance of a rash around the mouth, or on the face
- Decrease in appetite
- Excessive crying
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in bowel movements
Help ease the pain of teething by using a clean, cool washcloth to gently massage the gums. Offer the child a cool teething ring or a teething biscuit, if that is appropriate for the age of the child. Always supervise your child when using a teething biscuit because of the potential choking hazard. You should talk to your doctor or dentist before using over-the-counter pain reducers or desensitizing gel.
A Baby’s First Teeth
The first teeth that will appear are usually the lower incisors, commonly known as the two front teeth. By the age of three, children should have their complete set of 20 “pearly whites.” When the first teeth start to appear, buy a toothbrush designed for the age of your child, usually this is indicated on the packaging, and gently cleanse the entire tooth without toothpaste. Beginning at around 18 months, you may choose to introduce a tooth cleansing paste that is safe to swallow and does not contain fluoride. Many brands of children’s toothpaste are available in your local retail store. When in doubt, ask your pediatric dentist or the pharmacist to recommend a brand for you.
Does your child need their forst dental visit? Contact us today to find out and set up an appointment if they do.