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
Long before you bring your child for their first appointment, he or she can start developing sound oral habits—with your help. Even before you little one has a tooth, we recommend gently cleaning out their mouth with a wash cloth and a with an infant tooth brush. However, you don’t need to use any toothpaste yet. One of the best times for this cleaning is right after a bath.
Brushing Little Teeth
Once your child’s first tooth emerges, we recommend that you start brushing his or her teeth right away with a toothbrush designed for use with young children. You should brush your child’s tooth at least twice a day.
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.