Your baby’s first tooth will typically emerge between six months and one year of age. As soon as your baby has teeth, they are susceptible to tooth decay, making it essential that you properly care for your baby’s oral health. How can you keep your baby’s teeth healthy as they grow? Here are the top guidelines to follow!
Gently Brush Your Baby’s Teeth
As soon as that first tooth comes in, you can begin a gentle brushing regimen with a toothbrush designed for babies. Use just a tiny amount of toothpaste—about the size of a grain of rice—and gently brush all sides of your baby’s tooth . You may choose to use fluoride toothpaste; if you have any questions about your child’s fluoride consumption, always follow up with your pediatric dentist!
Beware of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is a term used to describe tooth decay in babies and toddlers in which sugary liquids sit on the teeth and cause cavities. Giving your baby a bottle filled with juice or milk at nap time or bedtime can cause baby bottle tooth decay. To avoid tooth decay in your child, never use a bottle as a pacifier, and do your best to avoid giving your baby a bottle in bed .
Use Caution With Pacifiers
While pacifiers do have their benefits for babies, overuse of pacifiers—or using them past a certain age, typically over the age of two—can lead to oral health issues. Tooth alignment, jaw development, and even ear infections can happen with prolonged pacifier use . In addition, parents that clean pacifiers by putting them in their own mouths can transfer bacteria that can cause tooth decay on to their children. Always use caution with pacifiers to protect your baby’s smile!
Remember to Floss Once Baby Has Two Teeth
Once your baby has two teeth that touch together, you can begin flossing. Flossing helps remove the plaque between teeth that the toothbrush can’t reach. Go ahead and floss teeth with a clean section of floss for each set of teeth once a day to keep your baby’s teeth and gums clean and healthy!
Schedule That First Dentist Visit
Your baby’s first dentist visit should happen right around the time that their first tooth comes in. Not only will your dentist be able to assess your child’s smile to ensure their development is on track, but your baby can also begin to get used to dental visits at an early age. Your dentist can also talk with you about any questions you may have, your baby’s fluoride consumption, and best ways to support your baby’s smile during your appointment!
The primary teeth your child gets in their first few years of life are instrumental to the permanent teeth that will soon follow. Taking care of your child’s smile can help support proper tooth alignment, oral health, and great dental care habits for life!