Mommy Guide: Baby and Toddler Dental Care Tips
Make sure your baby's new teeth get the best care. Here are some tips to prevent cavities and keep his beautiful smile healthy
Start Before Baby's Teeth Come In
Start cleaning your child's mouth even before her teeth come in. Gently massage their gums with an infant toothbrush after each feeding or with a warm, wet washcloth wrapped around your finger.
Once they come, Take Care of Them Right Away
Many parents think baby teeth aren't important because they're eventually replaced by permanent ones. But these first teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent ones and help Baby chew and talk. If they're not cared for properly they can decay, leading to a gum infection called gingivitis, which can affect the spacing of permanent teeth.
Schedule a Dental Checkup
Have your child visit the dentist at the age on one. Early preventive care saves you money in the long run.
Make Brushing a Habit
When your baby's teeth appear, brush twice a day with an infant toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Start flossing when two of his teeth touch each other. Ask your dentist about techniques and schedules.
Brush and floss just before bedtime. After that, don't give your child any food or drink, except water, until the next morning.
Stay Away from Cavities
Putting Baby to bed with a bottle of milk (or worse, juice) is notorious for causing cavities. Don't leave your infant with a bottle for long periods of time, especially if you notice he's no longer feeding and is just using the bottle for comfort. If you must give your child a bottle to take to bed, make sure it contains only water.
Control the Sippy Cup
Using it too much could contribute to tooth decay, particularly when they are drinking sugary drinks.
Let go of the Pacifier by age of 2
There are lots of good reasons to let your child use a pacifier, but in the long term it can affect how his teeth line up. It can also change the shape of the mouth.
More Water, Less Juice
Too much juice can cause teeth to decay faster, so limiting this early on is a smart idea. When you do give your child juice, dilute it with water.
Watch Out for Foods that are Good and Bad for the Teeth
Good: Cheese, sweet potatoes, oranges cranberries, apples, water
Bad: Sweets and sugar, juice, white foods (white bread, rice, potatoes, white pasta, crackers (can be as bad as candy for the teeth), fruit snacks, and raisins.