Caring For Baby’s Teeth
A child’s primary teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth. It’s important to care for them as they are the spaces or positions of the future permanent teeth. Your baby’s teeth help the child chew food and speak. Hence, it is best to introduce good dental care for children during their infancy.
The following tips may help keep a child’s teeth and gums healthy:
- Using a warm, wet washcloth, wipe your baby’s gums every day (including teeth, if any). It removes sugars from the gums and, besides, it will accustom the infant with the feeling of cleaning their teeth.
- Don’t let babies and toddlers go to bed with bottles or sippy cups. Sugar in milk and juice can cause tooth decay if they remain on the teeth for long periods.
- As your baby nears one year old, he should learn to get used to a sippy cup. By that age, he shouldn’t be using bottles anymore.
- You can give toddlers juice or milk at meal times, if not water. In between meals, siping water from sippy cups should be encouraged.
- Using a soft baby toothbrush, brush your one-year old infant’s teeth twice a day. Use only a small amount of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. In between 3 and 6 years, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Brush your child’s teeth for them until they can clean their teeth well without help. Monitor them to make sure that they spit out the toothpaste. When not in use, keep toothpaste out of their reach.
- Within 6 months of their first tooth appearing or at 1 year of age, whichever comes first. Bring your child to the dentist. This is an ADA recommendation.
- Do not share eating utensils with a child or clean pacifiers by putting them in their mouth. These can pass the adult’s cavity-causing bacteria to the child.
These are common tips and suggestions, and may not be fit for all children. Please advise with our dentist for personalized dental health tips.
Additional Dental Health Advice for Children
If you have a new baby or a toddler, drop by Dr. Tetrick’s dental clinic in Bellingham for a checkup and see how you can maintain your child’s oral health at home in addition to routine checkups.