Dental care should begin at birth. Gently wipe your baby’s gums with a soft, wet cloth after each feeding because the gum tissue and tongue can harbor bacteria. When teeth begin to appear, brush daily with a soft, wet cloth & water or a soft childrens toothbrush appropriate for your child’s age. Childrens toothpaste can be added to the routine from the age of 18-36 months. After 36 months, you can add a small pea sized dab of regular toothpaste to clean and protect the teeth. Be sure to monitor your child to prevent swallowing of fluoride toothpaste.
“Baby Bottle Tooth Decay”
Babies that go to bed with bottles of milk, formula, or juice are likely to eventually get tooth decay. Often this decay is rampant throughout the mouth due to sugar contact with the teeth for a long duration throughout the night. Recently there has been a rise in decay due to juices in “sippy cups”. If your child is sipping on juice all day long, they are at risk for rampant decay. Here are some tips to prevent this type of decay:
- Put your child to bed without a bottle
- Try not to let your child walk around using a bottle of milk or juice as a pacifier
- Don’t dip your child’s pacifier in juice or sugar
- Put water in your child’s cup between meals