The overall well-being of a newborn is paramount to parents. As a guardian, it is important to know that oral care can begin well before your baby's first tooth appears. And, it is vital that you maintain a good oral routine to ensure your little one's overall health.
Good oral care for newborn babies helps build a stronger foundation for the baby's oral health in the long run. Therefore, let us explore a few reasons that will help you understand why you should take utmost care in the oral health of your newly born baby.
Taking care of the gums should be an important part when it comes to oral care for newborn babies. This is essential because the bacteria present in your baby's mouth may be harmful once the baby starts teething. It can cause tooth decay at an early stage. Therefore, their gums should be regularly cleaned.
Take a gauze or a clean, damp cloth and wrap it around your finger. Then clean your little one's gums by gently massaging them with the cloth. Remember not to use any toothpaste or mouthwash during this period.
Babies have a natural reflex of sucking, which develops in the womb itself. Therefore, your baby may find it very soothing to suck on their thumb. To stop them from doing this, some parents introduce soothers in their baby's oral care routine. Although pacifiers are not ideal, if you do incorporate them for oral care for newborn babies, you must take a few precautionary measures.
Ensure that you maintain hygiene. Your pacifiers must be sterilised. You can do this by boiling it in the water for 5 minutes. Also, avoid letting your baby chew on the pacifier as it can lead to choking.
Additionally, it is crucial that you remember not to dip your baby's soother in sugar or honey for giving them even the smallest of pleasures as this may cause tooth decay in the future.
You probably use a variety of lotions and oils to ensure that your baby smells wonderful and babylike. However, many don't exactly know how to combat their little one's bad breath. In fact, it is a matter of concern among countless parents as bad breath is indicative of an upset or unhealthy stomach.
Your baby may get bad breath due to a number of reasons, one of which is dry mouth. By now, you must have noticed that your baby often sleeps with their mouth open. Well, this allows air to enter your baby's mouth and dry it, giving them an unpleasant breath.
Moreover, unclean soothers and pacifiers, or your baby's unclean fingers, can also be a reason for their bad breath. Thus, to avoid this, you must develop a habit of wiping your baby's gums and tongue every time you feed them, as well as before bedtime. Also, make sure that your little one's hands and soothers are regularly cleaned.
As parents of newborns are usually aware; your newborn baby's diet should only consist of breastmilk. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) specifically states that breastfeeding should be exclusive until your baby is 6 months old and should be continued till the age of 2. Breastmilk is the best when it comes to oral care for newborn babies.
Since breastmilk contains all the necessary antibodies to fight off the virus and also the bacteria present in your little one's mouth, you need not provide them with any special diet.
Also, if possible, try to breastfeed your baby directly and avoid feeding them using bottles or sip cups as that may cause an issue of tooth decay in the future.
Ensuring the best oral care for newborn babies may be a little difficult to follow. Therefore, it is recommended that you take your baby to the dentist for regular visits six months after your baby's first tooth appears. However, it is always advisable that you consult with your paediatrician to determine the best time to take your little one to the dental clinic.