Here are some tips on how you can maintain healthy teeth for your little ones:
Before the teeth erupt, clean your baby’s mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush at bath time. This prepares your baby for the teeth cleaning you're going to do soon.
When the teeth erupt, clean your child’s teeth at least twice a day with a toothbrush designed for small children and a kiddie toothpaste with 1000ppm of fluoride. Parents and caregivers should help or watch over their kids’ tooth brushing abilities until they’re at least 8-years-old.
Your child's first dental visit should take place after the first tooth appears, but no later than his or her first birthday. The earlier the visit to a dentist, the better. It is important to establish a dental home to ensure that the child’s oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, ongoing, accessible, coordinated and family-centered way by the dentist.
If your baby is placed to sleep with a bottle, use nothing but water. When a child is given a bottle containing sugary liquids such as milk, formula or fruit juice, the teeth are under attack by bacterial acid for extended periods. This can cause cavities in babies called “early childhood caries,” formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay.
Breast-feeding has been shown to be beneficial for a baby’s health and development. However, if the child prefers to be breast-fed often or for long periods once a tooth appears and other foods/beverages have been introduced into her diet, he or she is at risk for severe tooth decay. Clean your baby's mouth with a wet washcloth after breast-feeding, and encourage a bottle with plain water during the nighttime.
Never dip a pacifier in anything sweet; it can lead to serious tooth decay.
Wean the infant from the bottle by one year of age.
I will be posting more nice-to-know articles on Fluoride and Early Childhood Caries soon!
If you have questions, you may reach me through our clinic's Facebook page: Tooth Booth Dental Center