Infant & Toddler Oral Care
Taking care of your children’s teeth is important and starts before their first tooth shows up. After each feeding, you can use an infant gum massager, clean damp gauze, or a washcloth to wipe down the infant’s gums.
Continue reading to learn more about infant and toddler oral care from our Wayland & Coopersville family dentists.
Baby & Toddler Tooth Care
Research shows that the often predicts the health of adult teeth, so regular dental checkups and daily cleanings are important habits to start your child on. Cutting down on starchy snacks (crackers and chips) and sugary beverages can help prevent cavities and set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Once your child is able to spit on their own (around age 6 or 7), you can begin using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to help combat cavity-causing germs.
Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, develop proper speech, and build confidence. Despite their importance, however, teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they develop. and toddlerhood is often referred to as baby bottle tooth decay.
Despite its name, baby bottle tooth decay can have various causes including prolonged exposure to sugar and bottle feeding with juice at night. There are several precautions the American Dental Association suggests parents and caregivers can take to prevent decay and keep their child’s teeth healthy.
Oral Health Suggestions
Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. This can transfer bacteria which cause tooth decay. Only use formula, milk, or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice, or soft drinks.
When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice-sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3. Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit nor swallow toothpaste, which is usually not before they are 6 or 7.
When your child’s first tooth appears, call Robinson Dental to schedule your first visit to make sure your child has a healthy mouth!
- Infants should finish their bottles before going to bed.
- If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean
- Do not dip it in sugar or honey.
- Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday.
- Encourage healthy eating habits.
- Brush teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 to 6.
- After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
Schedule an Appointment
The family dentists in Wayland & Coopersville can help parents and caregivers navigate their child’s oral care, make expert recommendations, and schedule special dental visits for your child. To make an appointment or learn more, please call your local office.
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This blog post has been updated.