Your baby’s teeth were already formed underneath their gums before they were born. Now that your baby is here, you need to start caring for their teeth before they start to emerge. Although most babies start to grow teeth as early as six months of age, some babies may grow teeth a little earlier or later. Your child should have at least 20 teeth by the time they reach their third birthday. Here are some things that you can do to protect your baby’s teeth.
Stop Cavities and Tooth Decay Before They Develop
Wipe your baby’s gums after each meal to keep them clean and to prevent cavities from forming in any emerging teeth. You can use a damp towel or gauze pad. As your baby starts to cut his or her teeth, you should get in the habit of brushing each one now. Soak a soft bristled toothbrush in warm water for a few minutes before using it to brush your baby’s teeth.
Prevent cavities and tooth decay by:
- Do not allow your baby to go to bed with a bottle filled with milk or juice.
- Consider weaning your baby when they are 14 to 16 months old.
- Do not allow your child to sip on juice or milk all throughout the day. If they need their bottle to pacify them, make sure that it is filled with water.
- Do not feed your child junk foods or sugary foods.
- Do not dip your baby’s pacifier in sweet tasting substances such as sugar and honey.
Baby’s First Dental Visit
Take your baby to the dentist once they cut their first tooth. You child’s dentist will inspect your child’s tooth and gums. The will also instruct you on how to take care of your baby’s oral health so that the rest of their teeth come in properly. Don’t forget to ask about fluoride supplements.
Do not use adult toothpaste on your baby’s teeth. If your child is under two years old, you should not use any fluoride-containing toothpaste. Once your child is over the age of two, you can use ADA approved toothpaste that is specially formulated for toddlers. Do not allow your baby to swallow any toothpastes. This can lead to cosmetic and discoloration issues with your child’s permanent teeth in the future.
Although your baby’s first set of teeth will eventually fall out, you still need to take good care of them while your child has them. The key to maintaining good oral health for your baby is to start caring for their gums and eventual teeth as soon as they are born.