Having a baby is a joy and a blessing, but many first-time parents struggle to know the best, affordable ways to take care of their baby. Sometimes parents believe that they don’t need affordable dental care for their baby’s teeth and gums until the child is older, but choosing to not begin your baby’s oral care sooner would be a big mistake. Taking good care of your child’s baby teeth and gums will greatly impact permanent teeth that come in later.
Before your baby’s teeth even appear, you should begin caring for your little one’s gums, because unhealthy gums can lead to gingivitis, which can affect the spacing of future permanent teeth. Spacing issues can lead to extensive cavities, or create a necessity for braces. For your little one’s long-term health, here are some affordable dental care options to help you protect your baby’s teeth and gums.
Wipe your baby’s gums. Before your little one even has teeth, you can take the following measures to help their gums develop healthily. Purchase some plain, thin burping cloths. Cut these cloths into long, two-inch thick strips, and keep them in an airtight container. After meals and burping, wrap a strip around your index finger and dampen it slightly with warm water. Wipe off your baby’s gums to remove excess food with the cloth. Rinse and wash out the cloth when you are finished. You can then place the clean cloth back in your airtight container.
Give your baby water with meals. After your baby starts eating baby food and/or solid food, be sure to provide water to drink to help wash out their little mouth. The tiny amount of fluoride contained in tap water is just the right amount for your little one to have.
Begin brushing as soon as your baby’s teeth appear. Once your child’s baby teeth start coming in, you can begin brushing them to help your child get familiar with the feeling of a toothbrush, and to ensure each little tooth is clean from the start. As for the toothbrush, make sure that it’s soft enough to not irritate your little one’s tender gums, and that it can fit into a small mouth. However, unless your child is two years or older, don’t use any toothpaste yet! When your child turns two, then begin using a non-fluoride toothpaste.
Begin dentist visits at an early age. You can begin taking your child to a pediatric dentist as soon as they reach age one. However, if you diligently take care of your child’s teeth at home, you may not need to take your child to the dentist until age three or so. For the more affordable dental care possible for your child, you may want to put your child on your existing insurance plan or sign up for a discount dental plan to pay a lower price at the dentist.
Taking care of your baby’s teeth and gums may be slightly tedious, but ultimately it will help your child develop healthy gums and teeth, and really save you a lot of money at the dentist. Other than creating for yourself a more affordable dental plan for your baby, you can also have peace of mind knowing that they will have a head-start on developing healthy habits for their future.