When a baby is born he or she brings so many joyful moments into his or her parents’ life. We commemorate the many “firsts” in our baby’s life such as first steps, smiles, sounds, words, teeth and so on! Our child’s cuteness is unmatched with each new achievement. Unfortunately, along with exciting “firsts”, there are often come uninvited and unwanted “firsts”. One of these unwanted occurrences are cavities and tooth decay.
Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease—5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common than early childhood obesity, 20 times more common than diabetes. 42% of children 2 to 11 have had dental caries in their primary teeth, and 23% of them have untreated dental caries.
Luckily, it is not too hard to keep your baby teeth healthy!
The recommendations below are simple and easy. Following them will surely, if not guarantee, increase your baby’s chances of being cavity and decay-free.
Parent tips for healthy baby teeth:
- Taking good care of your baby’s teeth from day one.
- Wipe the baby’s gums with a clean washcloth or infant toothbrush after each feeding.
- When the first tooth erupts, clean the baby teeth with children’ toothbrush twice a day.
- Visit pediatric dentist by baby’s first birthday.
- Infants should not be put to sleep with a bottle of milk, formula, sugar water, or fruit juice; only water should be used.
- Clean the baby’s mouth with a wet washcloth after breastfeeding.
- Never dip a pacifier in anything sweet; it can lead to serious tooth decay.
- Fluoride for babies.
- Fluoride has been shown to reduce tooth decay by as much as 50 to 70 percent.
- Even before baby teeth have erupted, infants still need fluoride to help developing teeth grow strong. A pediatric dentist will determine the child’s fluoride needs during the initial consultation.
- Babies older than six months may need a fluoride supplement if their drinking water does not contain the
right amount of fluoride.
- A pediatric dentist will help determine whether the child needs a fluoride supplement and if so, will prescribe the proper amount.
- Don’t forget about your oral health!
Babies can “catch” cavities from their caregivers. In more than 70 percent of the cases, the mother is the source. Study shows that the cavity-causing bacteria known as Streptococcus mutants can be transmitted from mothers to infants even before teeth erupt. The better the mother’s oral health, the less the chance the baby will have problems.
Follow these recommendations and by the end of each visit, your child’s dentist will always say: “Congratulations! Cavity and decay-free!”
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your baby’s oral health, please contact our children’s dentistry in Allen: Kids Pediatric Dentistry. Healthy smiles for happy kids!