It’s no secret that seeing your baby’s first tooth is an exciting milestone. But did you know your baby can get cavities as soon as their first teeth appear?
Since babies’ teeth are destined to fall out on their own eventually, some people do not consider maintaining proper care important. However, a baby’s first teeth are essential to the health of their permanent teeth. With that being said, it is important to take extra good care of your child’s primary teeth to build a foundation for their lifelong health.
Dental Care Tips
Here are some tips you can follow to ensure your baby’s oral and dental health.
- Even before your baby has teeth, gently clean your child’s gum with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth after every meal.
- Do not prop a milk or formula bottle in your baby’s mouth. Instead, let your baby feed “at will”.
- Do not put your child to sleep with a bottle in their mouth as it allows the sugar in the formula milk and breast milk to linger on teeth, settling the stage for tooth decay.
- Never test the temperature of the bottle directly with your mouth, as dental decay can spread from your mouth to your child’s mouth through the exchange of saliva.
- Avoid putting a pacifier in your mouth and then giving it to your child to prevent the spread of tooth-decay-causing bacteria. It is also advantageous for patients not to taste their baby’s food before offering them a bite from the same spoon.
- Teach your baby to drink from a cup around their first birthday, as using cups can help prevent tooth decay.
- Avoid offering your child a little formula or milk to soothe them. Instead, use a regular pacifier to calm your child.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not to give juices or other fruity drinks to your child under the age of 12 months, and after that, limit juices to 4 oz per day and mix them with an equal amount of water.
- Avoid giving your baby sticky food such as raisins, dried fruits, gummy candies, fruit roll-ups, and snack bars with honey or molasses. Have your kids brush their teeth or rinse with plain water after eating sticky foods.
- When the primary teeth of your baby come in, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a smear of fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth.
- Create a healthy routine of brushing twice daily for two minutes each time around your child’s first birthday.
Teething does not cause too much discomfort in babies; however, many parents can tell when their baby is teething because the baby may show some signs of discomfort. During teething:
- Give your baby a clean teething ring or cold, wet wash clothes to soothe the discomfort. Chilling the teething ring is also recommended, as cold temperatures can soothe the inflammation of the gums.
- Apply gentle pressure on your babies’ gums to ease the pain and discomfort associated with teething. Make sure to thoroughly clean your hands before putting them in your child’s mouth.
- If you have introduced your baby to solid food, try freezing some foods and offering them to soothe their irritated gums. Chilled mashed bananas, apples, pears, and strawberries are a great start.
- Talk to your child’s pediatrician if your child has a fever or diarrhea and is not well.
Wellness Checkup for Babies in the Woodlands and Spring, TX
At Northwoods Pediatric Center, P.A., we provide sick visits and wellness checkups to children in a positive, relaxing, and hygienic environment. We also provide patients with guidance and support at every step.