If you just had your first child, you may still have many questions regarding his or her healthcare, specifically oral health care. Here are a few questions and answers you may have about your child's dental care.
What Are Some Top Causes of Tooth Decay in Babies?
Some parents believe that fruit juices are healthy for their baby, but a lot of these drinks have lots of sweeteners that can be damaging to teeth. In fact, one blog says that fruit juice is one of the most common causes of decay in children's teeth because a lot of these drinks have about 23 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce serving. If your child is under the age of one, he or she shouldn't be having fruit juice.
Also, while not the top cause of decay, milk and formula contain sugars that can cause decay in enamel. Obviously your child needs the nutrients from milk and formula, so just be sure not to send him or her to bed with a bottle of milk. If your child needs a drink right before bed, consider putting water in a sippy cup instead.
When Should You Take Your Baby Into the Dentist?
You may think that you need to wait until your baby is a bit older to visit the dentist, but it's a good idea to make a visit by your baby's first birthday or when his or her first tooth erupts.
When looking for a dentist, look for kids dentist — also known as a pediatric dentist.
A pediatric dentist can help your baby by
- Keeping an eye out for decay in baby teeth
- Identifying speech development and orthodontic issues
- Getting him or her used to visiting the dental office so that it's not a scary experience
These types of dentists have undergone extra schooling to be certified as pediatric specialists, and they are great at working with kids. They also are knowledgeable about common dental issues that kids face more than other demographics.
How Can You Clean Your Baby's Teeth?
Once a baby tooth has erupted, you can use toothpaste the size of a grain of rice to gently brush your child's teeth. Only when your child has passed the age of three should you start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
If your child doesn't have any teeth yet, you can still clean his or her mouth out with a moist washcloth. You can gently wipe your baby's gums after feeding times and right before bedtime. Gently cleaning your baby's gums will prevent bacteria from building up.
Contact a dentist in your area for more information about taking care of your baby's teeth.