It’s so important to start kids off with good oral care. Yes, your young child’s teeth will be replaced with the adult set in a few years, but they still need to be protected from tooth decay. Having healthy baby teeth not only prevents unnecessary pain, but promotes proper speech patterns and helps the adult teeth grow in correctly.
Baby bottle tooth decay usually occurs in the top front teeth of infants and toddlers, though not exclusively. It most often happens as a result of prolonged exposure to sugary drinks. So keep that in mind if your child uses a bottle as a pacifier or you leave them in their crib or bed with a bottle in hand. They should finish their bottles before nap or bed time.
Here are some additional ways you can stave off tooth decay with your infant or toddler:
- Avoid placing juice in bottles.
- Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
- Make sure your child gets an adequate amount of fluoride. This can be done by using fluoridated water in baby formula. If you have any questions, speak with us about it.
- Not that you need an additional reason for it, but provide a healthy diet for your child.
- Avoid sharing spoons with your child, since saliva can pass on bacteria.
- After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a damp gauze or washcloth.
- Schedule your child’s first appointment with us at the first sign of their teeth coming in.
When their teeth make their first first appearance, start brushing with water and a child-size toothbrush. When you start using toothpaste, you only need about a pea-sized amount to brush their teeth up to about the age of six. Even if your child is independent early on, you should supervise teeth brushing until you know they are not swallowing toothpaste.