Gums are an essential part of your child’s oral health. This is because they exist even before their first teeth begin to erupt. Hence, the first part to receive oral care are the gums. This care should go on even as they grow older. Doing this provides a good foundation even as the teeth begin to set in. Failure to observe gum care for your child can have severe consequences including gum diseases. To avoid this, here are some tips to help you maintain healthy gums for your child.
Keep the Gums Clean
As an infant, your child will not have started developing teeth which means that brushing is not required. Still, your child’s gums are susceptible to getting dirty from food particles that may be left in the mouth. They should therefore be cleaned to keep them off any food remains which if left to build up, may lead to the growth of bacteria.
To do so, get a clean piece of gauze and wet it. Wrap this around your finger and gently wipe your child’s gums. You should try and do this after feedings. This way, your child’s gums will remain clean and healthy.
Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
When sugary liquids are left to sit in your baby’s mouth for long periods, they will have harmful effects on your child’s oral health. This is what happens when you put your child to sleep with a baby bottle filled with sweet drinks such as fresh juice, formula, and even breast milk among others. As they fall asleep, some of the liquid will flood in the mouth and produce decay-causing acids throughout the night. This is harmful to both their teeth and gums.
To prevent this, sleeping with a bottle should be avoided from the beginning to prevent your child from depending on this sleeping technique. If they have to sleep with a bottle, it should be filled with water instead.
A Gradual Shift to Brushing
As they grow, your child’s teeth will begin to erupt. As this happens, you should slowly start shifting to brushing. Doing this twice each day will ensure that their gums and teeth stay clean. You should use a toddler toothbrush for this. In the beginning, you can start by only wetting the toothbrush and then later start to use toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. As they get older, you can upgrade to a peas size amount.
As they may not be capable of doing it on their own, you should assist your child with brushing until they are old enough to do it on their own. This way, you will ensure that all areas of the teeth are cleaned properly including the gum line.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
What your child feeds on will also contribute to the health of their gums. You should start by limiting your child’s intake of sugary foods and drinks such as candy and sodas. These will encourage bacteria that may lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Instead, you should ensure that they feed on foods that are healthy for their gums. Crunchy fruits such as apples are ideal as they will naturally clean the gums as they rub on them. Fibrous vegetables will also be good for their gums. This is because they demand extra chewing which then promotes the production of saliva. This helps to wash away food particles and bacteria that may harm the gums. You should also include foods with nutrients such as calcium that are beneficial for the teeth and gums as well as plenty of water.
Keep the Pacifier Clean
You do not want bacteria that can harm your child’s gums to gain entry into their mouth through dirty items. Hence, you should ensure that all items introduced into your child’s mouth are clean. This is especially the pacifier which your child’s mouth is in contact with most of the time. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water. For sterilization, you can boil it for a few minutes. Other items such as feeding bottles and other feeding utensils should be kept clean.
As a parent, you may find yourself focusing on your child’s teeth, forgetting about the gums. However, their gum health is just as important as the health of their teeth. The above tips should help you keep your child’s gums healthy and boost their overall dental health.