Newborn babies don’t carry germs in their mouth that can cause caries or decay; it’s what you give them. Parents and caregivers can pass on the bacteria through sharing spoons, sampling foods before giving it to babies, and cleaning a bottle or pacifier in their own mouth (instead of using water). It’s these seemingly harmless activities like these can begin the process that can cause cavities.
It Starts with You
If you want to protect your baby’s teeth, avoid sharing utensils with them right from the beginning. This means not putting anything in their mouth that has been in yours like a toothbrush. The same goes for blowing your little one’s food; let their food cool naturally. You also need to see a dentist as soon as possible if you have cavities or bleeding gums.
Taking Care of Teeth
Keep in mind that you are a role model for your kids. This is why you should brush and floss daily, as well as attend regular dental checkups. As soon as your little one’s teeth come in, clean them using a clean damp cloth or a small soft toothbrush with toothpaste (about the size of the grain of rice). Don’t forget to make sure that their mouth is checked by a dentist by the time they turn one.
Midjersey Smiles and other Old Bridge, New Jersey pediatric dentistry centers share other tips for healthy teeth:
- Eat healthy snacks. These include fruits and vegetables, as well as cheese. Be sure not to let your child snack on foods or sip on sugary beverages throughout the day.
- Load up on water. Encourage kids to drink lots of water, especially after meals and snacks. This can wash away sugars and help clean teeth.
- Don’t let them sleep with a bottle of milk or sugary liquid. If you give your little one a bottle at naps or bedtime, make sure it only contains water. Other beverages can cause the sugar to linger in their mouth and lead to decay.
- Let kids practice brushing their teeth. At around four or five (or when you think your kid is ready), teach them to brush their own teeth. Be sure to supervise the habit for the first twelve years.
Baby teeth allow your little one to eat, smile, and speak. They also keep the space for adult teeth, so make sure that you take care of them. Be sure to pick the right foods, practice proper oral hygiene, and visit the dentist for exams and cleanings.