Many parents have a tough time judging how much dental care their kids need. They know they want to prevent cavities, but they don’t always know the best way to do so. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you make healthy decisions for your child’s future dental care.
Good dental care starts before a baby’s first tooth appears. Teeth begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. When a baby first gets teeth, they can be brushed with an infant toothbrush using water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste. Even before your baby starts teething, running a clean, damp washcloth over the gums can help clear away harmful bacteria.
Certain elements that may contribute to early tooth decay include putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of juice, formula, or milk. This can eat away at the enamel on the teeth and cause them to get discolored, pocked, and pitted and possibly cause cavities leading to tooth decay. Around 6 months of age when switching from a bottle to an “approved” sippy cup, this method helps prevent liquid from pooling around a child’s teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends that children see their dentist by their first birthday. Your dental provider can explain more about proper dental care for your child and what to expect as they grow older. Visiting your pediatric dentist at an early age will also help your child have less fear about going as they get older!