Every Dentist Needs Your Help Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

How To Care For Your Baby's Teeth

Baby teeth tend to be perfectly clean and white when they first appear, which can lead some parents to assume that their baby's teeth will more or less take care of themselves. However, the only way to keep your baby's teeth in good condition is to start caring for them early. The following tips will help ensure that your baby will continue to have healthy teeth into toddlerhood and beyond.

Start Brushing As Soon as Teeth Appear

Your baby's teeth need care as soon as they erupt from the gums. The first few times that you brush your baby's teeth, keep the sessions very brief. Put the toothbrush in your baby's mouth and rub the gums, teeth, tongue or whatever part of your baby's mouth that he or she will allow. Show your baby how you brush your own teeth as a demonstration of the end goal. As the days go by, start lengthening the time that you spend brushing your baby's teeth.

Make Smart Toothpaste and Toothbrush Choices

Babies need special toothpaste and toothbrushes. Here are a few tips:

  • Buy the right toothbrush. Your baby will need a toothbrush designed to fit in his or her mouth. Pay attention to the recommended ages when purchasing a toothbrush for your baby. Note that some toothbrushes have ergonomic handles that are designed specifically to be grasped by small hands. Purchasing a toothbrush that's easy for your child to grasp will make it easier for him or her to learn to brush his or her teeth later.
  • Use non-fluoridated toothpaste for the first few years. Fluoride may be good for teeth, but too much fluoride can cause tooth discolorations and other problems. Babies and small toddlers don't understand that toothpaste shouldn't be swallowed. Until your baby is old enough to refrain from swallowing toothpaste, use the non-fluoridated kind.
  • Follow toothpaste manufacturer's instructions. Your baby's toothpaste will give specific instructions for use, like the proper age and how much to put on the toothbrush. Read and follow these instructions before using the toothpaste.

Avoid Putting Your Baby to Bed with Milk or Juice

Babies who drink milk or juice at bedtime will ultimately fall asleep with sugary drinks on their teeth. While this may not harm your baby's teeth at first, eventually it can lead to tooth decay. Avoid encouraging any habits that involve sending your baby to bed with a sugary drink.

Take Your Baby to the Pediatric Dentist

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your baby to the dentist when his or her teeth first appear. If your baby's teeth don't appear by the age of 1 year, take your child to the dentist anyway. For more information about how you can take care of your baby's teeth, contact a pediatric dental clinic, like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents, near you.

About Me

Every Dentist Needs Your Help Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

When I was a child and teenager, I always left the dentist's office with the great feeling of having no cavities. When I went away to college out-of-state, I had to switch to a new dentist in my area. It seemed like I was suddenly getting cavities and started wonder what my new dentist "was doing wrong". When I spoke to my mother about it, she reminded me that the reason I never had cavities when I was living it home was because she always made sure my siblings and I brushed and flossed daily and didn't eat too much sugar. I then realized that my late-night study sessions drinking sugary soda and my suddenly bad brushing habits were the true causes of my cavities. I have since learned a lot more about dental health I am eager to share with anyone who needs the advice!


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