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 erupts, it’s time to start brushing. Fortunately, there are small toothbrushes designed specifically for children. You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. For the first several years, you should help your child brush. Usually, he or she will be able to brush on their own once they are able to tie their shows themselves.
We advise that you not use toothpaste with fluoride until your child is at least two years old. At two years of age, put a pea-sized dot of toothpaste. You should help your child put this amount of toothpaste on their brush to ensure that they do not swallow excessive fluoride.
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.