Dental health plays an important role at every stage of life. No matter what our age is, it is important to practice great and healthy oral habits to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Just like adults, a good dental care plays an important role for young and growing children too. Parents often wonder how early they should start with infant dental care. If you have very young children, it becomes often unclear how to start with their oral care. However, it’s really never too early to start thinking about practicing good dental practices.

When thinking about infant dental care, you should start keeping the phases in mind. The first starts with pregnancy, teething, and then your consultation. Let’s take a look at each of them in-depth.

Phase 1: Pregnancy 
Infant dental care actually need to start even before your child’s birth. During the 9 months of pregnancy, your child develops within the womb. This development includes every part of the body including teeth. Some babies are born with teeth, known as natal teeth. If your baby has teeth upon birth, you should definitely consult your dentist on how to handle them. If required, you can also ask them to get removed.

A mother needs to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy keeping the oral health development of their child in mind. The best infant dental care should start with taking good care of oral health, diet and hygiene. A good oral hygiene for the mother during pregnancy can directly affect the health of baby. As your newborn grows, they will also be able to take good care of their teeth and gums.

Phase 2: Teething
The second phase of infant dental care starts with teething. Children actually develop teeth during pregnancy, so, at the time of birth, they will have 20 of their teeth under the gums. The next phase involves bringing teeth through the gums.

Teething usually starts occurring in young children between half and a year and a year old. There are some symptoms that indicate teething has begun. They include excessive fussiness, excessive drooling and increased irritation. These signs should not bother much. However, if issues like diarrhea, rash forming, or fever occur along with teething, you should immediately consult your doctor.

Once your baby starts teething, you can calm them by gently rubbing their gums or by giving them a clean hard teether to chew on. You can consult our Elgin Pediatric Dentist on the best teethers to choose from.

A great infant dental care involves cleaning the teeth and gums with a wet washcloth at least once a day. As more and more teeth starts coming in, you should start cleaning more regularly. Start with early cleaning practices to ensure that the first teeth coming through stays healthy as your baby continues to grow.

Phase 3: Dental Consultation
As your child starts to have teeth come in, you should start talking to your dentist about it. Even if your child is very young, you must talk to their pediatric dentist about the dental history. So, infant dental care should start as soon as your child is born. Before starting. It is important to consult a pediatric dentist.

Having a know-how of your family’s dental health history will help your dentist to plan the treatment accordingly.

Phase 4: First Dental Visit
The next step of your child’s dental care involves actually going to see the dentist for the first time. According to the dental experts, parents should take their young children to the dentist between 6 months to 1 year of age. You should see a dentist when the first teeth comes in and the child’s first birthday. Considering the dental history, your doctor might recommend an earlier visit.

Take your child to the family dentist who takes care of all members of your family. This way both the dentist and you will equally be knowing about each other. First visit involves cleaning and checking for flaws, if any. After the first checkup, you can also discuss with the dentist when the next visit should be and how best to prepare your child for each visit.

After seeing the dentist, you would feel safe about your child’s health. When your child is born, make sure to consider early infant dental care into consideration. Planning ahead makes the process easier as your baby grows.  The more you involve your pediatrician and family dentist, the better will be your child’s dental health.