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Dental Care for Your Baby

First Visit to the Dentist

During the baby years, we employ the “lap-to-lap” exam method which involves examining your child while they sit in your lap.

We recommend bringing in your baby for an exam in the first six months following their first tooth eruption. This time frame usually falls around their first birthday. It is important to remember that decay can take place in the youngest of patients. The best way to prevent dental issues is to visit us for regular check-ups starting as soon as possible. During an exam, we search for any early signs of dental issues and provide education for the best care of your baby’s teeth.

Baby’s First Tooth

You can introduce your baby to an oral care routine before their first tooth appears. Your baby’s gums can be cleaned with a damp washcloth or a piece of gauze, the best time to do this is after a feeding. Cleaning your baby’s gums removes any fragments of foods and encourages good oral care habits from an early age.

Once the first tooth erupts, that is your queue to switch the gauze or washcloth for a proper baby toothbrush. You can either choose from a toothbrush with a long handle or a brush that fits over your finger in a puppet-like manner. Either way, an age-appropriate toothbrush for this stage will contain few yet soft bristles.

At this stage of development, you do not need to use toothpaste, simply use water. While your baby is teething, they will want to chew on almost everything. Take this opportunity to acquire a baby toothbrush with a built-in teether, they’ll love it!

Brushing with Toothpaste

Once your child has more than a few teeth, it is time to begin using toothpaste. For children under the age of two, select a toothpaste free of fluoride unless your dentist advises you differently. An excess of fluoride can be hazardous for young children. Be sure to use a very small amount of toothpaste. Be sure to start practicing spitting the toothpaste following the brushing routine. This will help your little one prepare for fluoride toothpaste which should never be swallowed.

Avoiding Cavities

To avoid cavities, you should skip any sweet drinks such as soda and juice. Any sugar including the one in natural fruit juice, formula, and milk can lead to decay. This highlights the need for regular teeth and gum cleaning. You should also avoid allowing your baby to go to bed with a bottle because contact over a long period with sugary liquids increases the risk of early childhood decay which is also referred to as baby-bottle caries.

Setting a Good Example

Young children look up to their caregivers and want to be just like them. Show your child healthy habits to mimic. Brush and floss your teeth daily, invite your child to watch, this will allow them to learn healthy oral care habits from an early age. When your child shows interest in oral care, offer them their toothbrush. Keep the oral care routine light and fun by singing while brushing.

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