7 Baby Teeth Tips for Your Child’s First Year
In my last article, I shared 5 reasons why baby teeth matter – every single one of them.
As a follow-up, here are 7 tips for your baby’s first year.
1. Good dental habits begin at birth
Babies are born with a full set of 20 baby teeth in their gums; 10 on top and 10 on bottom. That’s why dental care begins before the first tooth appears.
2. DO make cleaning part of your feeding routine
Even if your baby’s teeth haven’t appeared yet, clean his or her mouth after each feeding with a moistened gauze or washcloth. Once teeth begin to appear, brush them twice a day with a soft toothbrush and a small “smear” of fluoride-containing toothpaste.
3. DO NOT share cups, utensils or food
Cavities are contagious! Avoid sharing utensils or food… blowing on food to cool it off… tasting from the spoon… putting pacifiers in your mouth… and kissing on the lips.
4. DO use fluoride
Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. If your drinking water does not contain fluoride, your child may need supplements.
5. DO NOT let your child fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice.
You’re literally bathing her teeth in a puddle of sugar. Don’t ever put your baby to bed with a cup or a bottle of milk or juice, NO MATTER WHAT.
6. Say “bye-bye” to the bottle by 12-14 months
By the time your child is one year-old, he or she should be able to sit up, hold a cup, and drink from it.
7. DO take your child to the dentist by age one
Tooth decay can occur as early as 6 months old. DO NOT wait until your child is 2 or 3 years old before taking them to the dentist.
Get it done, year one.
Dr. Ryan Roberts is a board-certified pediatric dentist at On the Cusp Pediatric Dentistry in Bixby.