Baby teeth may be small, but they’re important. They act as placeholders for adult teeth.
Without a healthy set of baby teeth, your child will have trouble chewing and speaking clearly. That’s why caring for baby teeth and keeping them decay-free is so important.
You can start caring for baby’s gums right away. But at first, the care won’t involve a toothbrush and toothpaste. Instead, take these steps:
Get a soft, moistened washcloth or piece of gauze.
- Gently wipe down your baby’s gums at least twice a day.
- Especially wipe your baby’s gums after feedings and before bedtime. This will wash off bacteria and prevent them from clinging to gums. Bacteria can leave behind a sticky plaque that damages infant teeth as they come in.
When her/ his teeth begin to come in, follow these tips:
- Brush her teeth with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit of toothpaste. Talk with your dentist about fluoride.
- When your baby’s teeth touch, you can begin flossing between them.
- When she’s about age 2, start teaching your daughter to spit while brushing. Don’t give water to swish and spit because she could swallow toothpaste.
- Even babies can get tooth decay. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle can harm a baby’s teeth. Sugars from juice, formula, or milk that stay on a baby’s teeth for hours can eat away at the enamel (the layer of the tooth that protects against tooth decay). This can lead to “bottle mouth” or “baby bottle tooth decay.” When this happens, the front teeth can get discolored, pocked, and pitted. Cavities might form and, in severe cases, the decayed teeth might need to be pulled.
When kids are 6 months old, they can switch from a bottle to a sippy cup. This helps prevent liquid from pooling around a child’s teeth.
After your child’s first birthday, schedule a visit to the dentist. Request Your Appointment Today
(317) 597-0184. As your baby grows, caring about his or her dental health is as important as their general health. A healthy mouth that allows for proper development of the teeth and jaw will lead to a lifetime of happy and healthy smiles.