A lifetime of beautiful healthy smiles starts at babyhood! It’s important to start dental care as soon as that first adorable little tooth comes in, or at the least, by the end of baby’s first year. While all babies are born cavity-free, cavities are actually extremely common but also completely preventable! And those little teeth are so very important – they help to insure that adult teeth come in properly.
A good rule of thumb (well ok, there are many…) to remember is to not let anything, especially a sugary anything, sit in baby’s mouth for a prolonged amount of time. This means making sure not to let an infant or toddler take a bottle to naptime or to bed at night, or using a bottle as a pacifier. Here are just a few really good things to remember for baby:
- Don’t fall asleep with bottle
- Don’t fall asleep breast feeding
- Brush first teeth with baby toothbrush (extremely soft)
- Use grain of rice sized amount of toothpaste
- No sugar water, juice, or soft drinks in bottles
- If using a pacifier, avoid dipping in sugar or honey
As babies grow into toddlers, it’s a good idea to start teaching good dental habits AND introduce and get them accustomed to a wonderful, friendly, pediatric dentist. This will set them up for a lifetime of enjoying dental visits. And who doesn’t want that for their kiddos?? Some good habits are:
- Eat healthy
- Brush for two minutes. Make it fun! Brush along with a fun 2-minute video at 2min2x.org.
- Use indicator tablets to reveal any spots that have been missed while brushing
- Encourage your child to use sippy cups as soon as possible (try for age 1)
- Brush with pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
- Start flossing as soon as teeth come in and are touching
Obviously, starting kids off with good dental habits will set them up for a lifetime of healthy strong teeth, beautiful smiles, and can effectively prevent many dental issues before they can take root (pun intended :).