The Time To Clean Babies Teeth Is Before They Arrive
When you bring a new born baby in to your life, the first feeling that overwhelms you is the massive responsibility that has been placed on your shoulders.
Every aspect of this helpless child’s life is now in your hands, and just one of the many things to consider is what you can do to ensure that their teeth are strong and healthy.
If you attend a dental clinic on a regular basis then the chances are that you’re well aware of the vast range of services they offer. From preventative measures such as check-ups and cleaning advice, to more radical treatments such as dental implants or the fitting of orthodontic braces, a modern clinic offers everything that’s required to keep your teeth healthy and deal with any faults which might be stopping you having the type of smile you truly dream of. One thing that most patients are aware of, however, is that it will be a matter of quite a few months, at least, until a child is taken to visit a dentist, and what this means is that the responsibility for initial dental care rests solely with their parents or carers.
Until recently, the advice to new parents has been that they could more or less leave their babies teeth and gums alone until the arrival of milk teeth at the age of approximately six months. Recent studies, however, have led to a slight revising of this information, with some dentists recommending that parents begin cleaning their children’s gums following meals before the actual teeth start to break through.
The basis for this advice is the fact that tooth decay is caused, ultimately, not by the food that we eat but by the bacteria which this food encourages. Certain foods, such as those high in sugar, encourage the formation of more bacteria and it is this bacteria which produces the acid which goes on to ultimately attack tooth enamel and cause cavities and decay. A study by University of Illinois found a diverse group of bacteria in the mouths of babies whose teeth had not come through yet.
The recommendation based on this finding is that parents should wipe and massage their baby’s gums gently with a soft damp cloth. Not only will this remove some of the bacteria which are present, but it will also enable your baby to feel relaxed about you using something to clean their mouth, an approach which will pay great dividends when their teeth come through and you have to clean them. Keeping the gums clean will help to maintain their health and provide a strong, durable foundation for the milk teeth which start to break through round about the age of six months.
Although cleaning gums and preparing for a strict dental hygiene regime is crucially important, it should not be allowed to overshadow the other vital step of carefully monitoring the food and drink which a young baby takes on board. The most important step is to avoid drinks which have added sugar. If your child does drink something, such as fresh fruit juice, which contains natural sugars, then the safest approach is to provide the drink at one sitting, after which the teeth and gums can be cleaned, since allowing them to sip from a cup or bottle over a prolonged period of time means their teeth are being constantly soaked in sugar which will invite attacks from acid.
Developing and maintaining a happy healthy smile is a lifelong job, and it’s one which starts as soon as a baby is born. The good news is that you can start looking after your child’s teeth before you can even see them.
At Perfect Smile we believe that your smile is one of your most valuable assets which is why our modern dental clinics are fitted with the latest and safest equipment, enabling us to provide you with the very best in service.
All our Clinics are designed with patient comfort and convenience in mind, from early and late evening appointment times available (including weekends) to the range of simple membership plans; from very highly qualified and experienced clinicians to state-of-the-art technology that reduces treatment times and the number of visits required.
We offer hassle free dentistry through easy access to any of our 13 London based Clinics and also offer a wide range of specialists within our group reducing the need to be referred to any other specialist dentist.
Our aim is to provide all our patients the best dental health and the most brilliant smile we can. After all, these are your teeth; we´re just here to help you make them look their best, and keep them that way.
Book an Appointment or pop in to any of our Clinics to find out more on how we can help you look after your smile.