Life is hectic for new moms and dads and some function on very little sleep for several months. At Pediatric Dental Center in Burlington KY, we don’t want baby’s first year to fly by in a blur without you giving a thought to their teeth. In most infants, those first teeth show up between six months and one year of age. When they do, it’s time for baby’s first checkup.
It’s never too early for new Burlington parents to establish a plan for their child’s lifelong oral health.
- Before the first teeth appear, wash gums with a soft damp cloth or piece of gauze after feeding.
- Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Most new parents are cautioned not to put babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. However, since baby-bottle tooth decay is still fairly common, this warning bears repetition. Baby bottle tooth decay is entirely preventable. If your baby will not sleep without a bottle, use only water. Moms who breastfeed should understand that breast milk can also cause decay. If your child uses a pacifier, don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
- Take your infant to the dentist early. That’s right—infant. Your child’s first dental exam should occur when the first teeth erupt, usually between six months and one year of age.
- When your baby’s first tooth peeks through, begin brushing gently with a small, soft toothbrush and a grain of rice sized dot of fluoride toothpaste. This assists in keeping that tooth decay-free while allowing your baby to get comfortable with regular oral hygiene.
- From the ages of 3 to 6, the amount of toothpaste can increase to a pea-sized dab. Most children swallow instead of spitting. You don’t want your child to swallow more than a minuscule smear of toothpaste. While fluoride is important, too much can be harmful.
- Consider dental sealants. Dental sealants protect the teeth and prevent cavities by filling in the cracks and fissures where food particles can hide. Sealants are especially important in the back teeth which, due to the abundance of crevasses, are hardest to clean properly.
- Talk to your dentist about pacifier use, thumb-sucking, or any other habits that affect teeth and jaw development.
- Teach your toddler to drink from a cup as soon as possible. The fewest months your child uses a bottle, the better. Even if your child loves his bottle, you are going to have to take it away sooner or later.
At Pediatric Dental Center in Burlington KY, we love our littlest patients, and provide a full range of pediatry dentistry services. Schedule an appointment with us today.
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