Babies require daily oral health care even before they get teeth. This activity serves two purposes. Firstly, they will have healthy gums and the other, they will get used to their mouth being cleaned. This way when their teeth come in, it will be super easy to introduce them to brushing their teeth.
When should you start?
You need to clean your baby’s gums when they are just a few days old.
How should you about this process?
Take a moist gauze or a muslin cloth, and wipe their gums gently after every feed. Remember to be very GENTLE. As a substitute to the cloth, you can also opt for finger cots, wipes and infant finger brushes available. Also, as much as the cloth needs to be sterile, you need to wash your hands and make them sterile too!!
When should you start using a toothbrush?
You should start using a size zero toothbrush with extra soft bristles as soon as your baby gets his/ her first tooth. This happens around the age of 5-8 months give or take, I have seen kids get their first tooth as early as 3 months to infants getting their first tooth at 1 year.
You can use the swallowable toothpaste but no fluoride toothpaste until the child is capable of spitting it out.
Other hygiene protocols to follow:
Do not give them pacifiers or teething toys dipped in sugar syrup or honey.
Do not let them fall asleep with the milk bottle in their mouth.
Always clean their mouths after the last feed before they sleep.