Infant & Toddler Oral Care

pediatric dentist wayland mi

Infant & Toddler Oral Care

pediatric dentist wayland mi

Taking care of your children’s teeth is important and starts before their first tooth makes its debut. Parents and caregivers can use an infant gum massager, clean damp gauze, or a washcloth to wipe down their infant’s gums after each feeding.

Baby & Toddler Tooth Care

Research shows that the health of baby teeth often predicts the health of adult teeth, so regular dental checkups and daily cleanings are important habits to get into. 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. Decay during infancy and toddlerhood is often referred to as baby bottle tooth decay.

Despite its name, baby bottle tooth decay can have various causes ranging from prolonged exposure to sugar to a caregiver’s saliva. There are several precautions the American Dental Association suggests parents and caregivers can take to prevent decay and keep their child’s teeth healthy.

  • Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
  • 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.
  • Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 to 6.
  • Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before he or she is 6 or 7.
  • Place only formula, milk, or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice, or soft drinks.
  • Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed.
  • If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday.
  • Encourage healthy eating habits.

When your child’s first tooth appears, call Robinson Dental to schedule your first visit! Start early and make sure your child has a healthy mouth!

Ready to Learn More?

The family dentists at Robinson Dental can help parents and caregivers navigate their child’s oral health, 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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