5 Tips to Protect Your Baby's Oral Health
Giving your child's teeth a healthy start could set them up for a lifetime of good oral health. Follow these five top tips to protect your baby's teeth and gums.
1. Keep Newborn Mouths Clean
Good oral care begins at birth. Even before your baby develops teeth, you can protect their oral health by cleaning their gums with a damp, clean cloth after every feeding. This type of cleaning helps to remove traces of milk from your baby's mouth and reduce the number of harmful oral bacteria that can feed on it and multiply.
2. Avoid Bottle Caries
Bottle caries are cavities that occur in very young children who are regularly put to bed with a bottle of sugary juice. Even milk can cause bottle caries due to its natural sugars. When you put your child to bed, give them a bottle of water to keep them hydrated but restrict other liquids to feeding times.
3. Clean Teeth as Soon as They Appear
As soon as your baby develops teeth, it is time to start cleaning them with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. Get into a routine of cleaning the child's teeth every morning and evening — hopefully, they will keep this healthy habit into adulthood. Once the child has two teeth that touch, you should also use floss to clean between them every day.
4. Use Age-Appropriate Toothpaste
Adult toothpaste brands contain fluoride, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride is good for children's teeth too, but it can cause problems with tooth development if they swallow too much of it. For this reason, children's toothpaste contains lower levels of fluoride, which are much safer for younger kids who haven't yet learned to spit out all the paste they use. Always check the recommended age ranges for the toothpaste you purchase to ensure they are suitable for your kids.
5. Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
When your child's first tooth appears, it is time to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dental clinic so they can have their first checkup. After this first appointment, your dentist will let you know how often you should bring your child for further checks. Sticking to this schedule allows the dentist to spot the early signs of any problems that could affect your child's long-term oral health such as cavities or orthodontic issues. Try not to skip any appointments during the early years, as they are extremely important for helping your child develop a positive relationship with dental care.
For more information, contact pediatric dental clinics like Karen Dental Clinic.