When Should I start cleaning my baby’s Mouth

baby brushingMost parents believe that caring for the baby’s mouth begins when they start showing teeth. Although the teeth will start to erupt in your baby’s mouth near the age of six months, it is important to keep the mouth clean. This is important for two reasons. First, the intake of milk and subsequently any soft diets need to be washed away, as babies due to undeveloped oral mechanisms may not be able to do this on their own. Second, a regular cleaning of the mouth after every feed makes the baby accustomed to the idea of cleaning the mouth, which later on helps overcome the teeth brushing resistance commonly seen in toddlers.

So how do I go about it you ask? It’s very simple. Although there are now many products available in the market for use related to baby’s oral care, it is wise to consult your dentist before using those things. Meanwhile, until the baby has not erupted any teeth, use a very soft clean cloth to clean his mouth. You can wrap the cloth around your index finger, and just sweep it on the baby’s gums. Make sure to sweep the gums both from outside and inner side. You can then give the baby some water to wash the remaining food particles off.

Once the baby’s teeth start coming out, you need to be more active. A small interesting tooth brush with baby toothpaste can be used to introduce the habit. Do not be put off if your child tries to make a play of it, and uses the toothbrush as a toy. Keep the toothbrush clean, and let him explore. Alongside, start brushing your teeth in front of him, so that he tries to learn and imitate the same. Make tooth brushing a fun activity by getting a nice gargle cup and rewarding your kid for brushing his teeth well.

Finally, make sure you take your child regularly to the dentist to chart normal eruption pattern of his teeth. These initial visits also help identify any problems in teething or oral cavity that can take place at this age, and treat them as soon as they arise.

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