Given the high incidence of early childhood dental caries or cavities, it’s never too early to pay attention to oral health. This is true even for infants, as tooth decay is prevalent when babies are exposed to sugary drinks and when they are put down for a nap with a bottle full of milk or juice. As a baby drinks from a bottle and drifts off to sleep, some liquid pools in the baby’s mouth, around teeth. This means that as the child sleeps, teeth are soaked in sugar from the milk or juice. Without question, this begins the process of infant or toddler tooth decay, which dentists refer to as baby bottle tooth decay.
Prevention Is Key
When it comes to early childhood tooth decay, prevention is key. Therefore, dental professionals spend ample time equipping parents on how to preserve their child’s oral health. As a rule,
- Do not put your infant or toddler to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. It is best to allow the child to finish drinking before his or her nap or bedtime.
- Do not dip or coat a child’s pacifier with sugar water or honey.
- Following a child’s feeding, wipe over gum tissues with gauze or a wet cloth.
- Do not clean your child’s spoon by putting it in your own mouth. Rather, rinse feeding utensils with running tap water.
- Try to establish a balanced, healthy diet from the beginning.
- Once a child’s first teeth begin to erupt, use a child-size toothbrush with soft bristles to gently brush over teeth. Parents may also use a small dot of toothpaste (non-fluoridated).
- Schedule your child’s first dental appointment as soon as the first baby tooth comes in.
Without question, taking care of a child’s teeth early can lead to a lifetime of good oral health. What’s more, given the strong connection between oral and overall health, children with healthy dental care habits can benefit from better health overall.
Is It Time To Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Appointment? Call Grateful Dental Today!
With an emphasis on preventative dentistry and helping patients achieve optimal oral health, Dr. Leia Porcaro proudly supports parents as they seek to establish good oral health habits for their children. Is it time to schedule your child’s first dentist appointment? Do you have questions concerning your child’s oral health? Call Grateful Dental today!