Attending to oral hygiene from an early age can significantly affect a person’s oral health. This is why cleaning your baby’s gums from birth is so important.
With this simple practice, your child can incorporate oral cleaning as part of his or her oral care routine. As teeth grow, brushing will no longer be a new and unfamiliar experience. This makes it easier to maintain healthy teeth.
In addition, cleaning a child’s gums can reduce the risk of tooth decay and ease the discomfort of teething. Here is what you need to know about this habit for your child’s health.
Clean Your Baby’s Gums Right After Birth
It is essential to clean your baby’s gums as soon as possible. Here are some benefits of incorporating this into your baby’s care from birth.
Prevention of disease: Removing milk debris and bacteria from the tongue and gums reduces the risk of tooth decay in baby teeth that will erupt in the future.
Habituation: By becoming accustomed to oral care as a child, you can eliminate the difficulty and resistance to brushing later in life. Children become accustomed to cleaning their mouths as a daily habit and experience the pleasure of having a clean mouth.
Gum massage: Cleaning the gums creates a pleasant massage in the mouth. This sensation can ease the discomfort babies feel when baby teeth fall out.
How to Clean Baby’s Gums Without Trouble
Cleaning such a small mouth can be taxing for parents. But with patience, willpower, and a little practice, it can be done and is not that complicated. Here is how to do it right.
The only materials needed are warm water and clean gauze or cloth. First, the adult performing the procedure should wash his or her hands thoroughly with soap.
Then, place the baby on your lap and hold the head in one hand. With the other hand, wrap a piece of clean gauze around the index finger and wet it with warm water.
Gently open the baby’s mouth and gently rub the cloth over the gums in a circular motion. The tongue and the inside of the cheeks should also be cleaned.
A special brush shaped like a thimble will make this easier. Simply insert your finger into the thimble. The soft silicone bristles will massage and clean the gums.
Once the first teeth are in the mouth, it is time to switch to brushing. Toothbrushes should be small and soft to clean the teeth in the mouth. Other oral structures can be gently cleaned with a toothbrush, silicone thimble, or gauze.
A small amount of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) can be used to clean small teeth as they emerge. Always follow the directions of your child’s pediatrician.
Tips for Cleaning Baby’s Gums
Cleaning a baby’s gums can be unpleasant for some children. Adults should not be alarmed or irritated. It is essential to guide, motivate, and help them to develop this habit in a loving and enjoyable way gradually.
Here are some helpful suggestions to make periodontal cleaning more enjoyable for your child:
Sing: Singing a song that calms the child or a particular song about mouth cleaning can make the occasion more enjoyable.
Set a good example: Having an adult brush their teeth simultaneously can help teach your baby the importance of oral hygiene.
Take advantage of bath time: An excellent time to clean the oral cavity is during or after a relaxing bath. Children will feel better, and it will be part of their body care routine.
Alternate brushing: For older children, alternating mouth brushing is a good idea. Give the child a toothbrush to practice brushing first; then an adult can do the finishing brush.