In honor of my two children’s family expecting I thought I would put out some information on care of your baby’s teeth.
It’s never too early to start taking care of your little one’s teeth. In
fact, proper oral health care should start well before your baby’s
first teeth even erupt. For a lifetime of healthy smiles, follow
these guidelines to ensure your child gets off on the right tooth.
Just say “no” to bottles in bed.
Never put your baby to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled
with milk, formula, fruit juice, or other sweet liquid. The sugar in
these beverages can cause cavities in your baby’s teeth, leading to
“baby bottle tooth decay.” Instead, let your child finish his or her
bottle before bedtime. If you must give your baby a bottle when
he or she is going to sleep, fill the bottle with water instead.
Be sure your baby drinks fluoridated water.
By the time your baby is 6 months old, he or she will require
some fluoride for healthy teeth. Most babies can get all of the
fluoride they need from the water they drink. Keep in mind
that bottled water usually doesn’t have any fluoride, however.
Clean your baby’s gums.
Twice a day, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a wet, clean,
soft cloth. You should start doing this before your baby’s teeth
even come in, or “erupt.” When can you expect to see that first
tooth? The average age is 6 months, but some infants don’t get
their first tooth until they are 14 or 15 months old. Some babies
see their first tooth when they are as young as 3 months old!
Brush new teeth.
Once the first teeth come in, you can clean them using a soft,
flexible children’s toothbrush and water. Continue to clean
your baby’s entire mouth, not just the new teeth. Gently brush
his or her first teeth with a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
Switch to a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste
once your child is age 2.