We all know that oral health and proper tooth care are important, and we invite you to bring your child to our dentist when they are about one year old so we can help. But did you know that there are things you can do to care for your child’s smile even when they are an infant? In fact, you should begin caring for a child’s mouth before their tooth even erupts.
Before Their First Tooth
Before your little one’s first tooth erupts, we recommend that you clean your baby’s gums and mouth with a soft cloth and an infant toothbrush. You don’t need to use any toothpaste yet, just wipe gently. Not only does this clean your baby’s mouth, but it helps prepare your child for future cleanings.
Brushing Little Teeth
Once your child’s first tooth emerges, we recommend that you start brushing his or her teeth right away with a toothbrush designed for use with young children. You should brush your child’s tooth at least twice a day.
For the first several years, you should be there to help your children brush your teeth for a few reasons. One reason is to ensure that your child’s teeth are brushed. A second is that your child will typically be unable to brush their teeth until they are about five years old. Finally—once your child is two years old—we recommend using toothpaste with fluoride. However, swallowing too much fluoride can be harmful. We recommend that you put a pea-sized dot of toothpaste on your brush for them.
Your child’s teeth can also become decayed if they are exposed to sugary liquids for an extended amount of time. Usually, this exposure comes from putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with milk, fruit juice, or formula. This exposure can lead to cavities. We also recommend that you never dip your pacifier in anything sweet because it can also lead to serious tooth decay. We also recommend that you try to wean your child from the bottle by the time they are one year old.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to learn more about how you can care for your child’s oral health.