Children need children dentistry services as soon as they start to get teeth. This is something that many parents overlook, thinking that they have time before dental care is important. The reality is that baby bottle tooth decay impacts many babies and toddlers, and a trip to the dentist can help to prevent it.
When your baby is first born, they will depend on a diet of breast milk or formula to survive. Both of these are very nutritious but also full of sugar. When baby’s nurse or have a bottle at night, this sugar is deposited onto their gums and simply stays there. You can start practicing good oral hygiene by taking a cool washrag and wiping down your baby’s gums once or twice a day. This will get them used to having their teeth cleaned and will feel good as they start to teeth.
Once their first tooth comes in, continue the washrag routine for the gums but add a rubber baby toothbrush. This is a simple tip that fits snuggly over your finger. Add a small amount of baby toothpaste to brush the tooth and the surrounding gums. It will feel comfortable to your baby and if they bite down it will not hurt your finger. You can also call our office and schedule a children dentistry appointment.
After your baby’s tooth has come in, it is important to wean them from nighttime feedings. Letting them take a bottle of milk or juice to bed, or nursing throughout the night, will place sugar directly onto their teeth that doesn’t have the opportunity to be washed away. During the night, the sugar can lead to bacteria forming and spreading, placing them at risk for cavities. If your child doesn’t want to give up their bottle, start to add water to it every day. Eventually, the milk will become a bottle full of water, without causing a large fit.
If you don’t bring in your baby right away, schedule an appointment for when they are around one-year-old and have most of their baby teeth. During the examination, we will make sure that they are completely comfortable and will check out their teeth and gums to make sure that they are healthy. We can remove bacteria from your child’s teeth, throughout their youth, to prevent cavities from forming. This is important because it can be very difficult to conduct complete teeth cleaning on small children at home. In our office, we are experts at working with children birth through seventeen and will be able to pull bacteria out of the hard to reach places.
As a parent, you can set the tone of your child’s oral health care routine for the rest of their life. By starting to brush their gums and teeth early, they will come to expect this and not consider an alternative scenario. Simultaneously, by visiting the dentist twice a year, it will become part of their medical care routine that will likely continue into adulthood, helping them to stay in good oral health.