Most new parents are given guidance on when to bring their babies for periodic checkups with their pediatricians and to check for milestones in their child’s development. Did you know a lot of parents might not be informed on when to bring their child in to see a dentist or how to care for their baby’s gums and teeth.
The ADA recommends starting your child’s path to good oral health at birth. You can begin by making sure your child’s gums stay clean by wiping them with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush and a little water. Once their teeth begin to erupt, you can start brushing twice a day with toothpaste for small children and the properly sized brush.
Regarding your child’s first dental visit, it should be sometime within the six months following the eruption of their first tooth. Definitely try and get an initial visit scheduled by your child’s first birthday. This way, if there are any issues or concerns, they can be addressed at the earliest possible stage, keeping any permanent problems to a minimum.
One really important issue facing the smallest of children is how baby bottle tooth decay can destroy a child’s teeth. This happens when a child has constant exposure to sugar- laden drinks such as milk, fruit juices and even baby formula. Here are some steps you can take to insure your child doesn’t develop this type of decay:
- Wipe or brush your baby’s gums after each feeding.
- NEVER put your baby or child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup filled with sugary liquids. Water is the only choice if they insist on needing a drink.
- If your child is always thirsty, fill their bottle or sippy cup with water during the day and only offer the other liquids at mealtimes.
Take these steps to insure the health of your child’s mouth. As the parent, you hold the key to getting them the best start possible on their journey to good oral health!