Take Care of Baby Teeth
Did you know you should start cleaning your little one’s gums regularly before he or she has a single tooth? It’s the best way to help your child have healthy teeth and gums. Use a soft, clean cloth to clean the gums after every feeding. Begin brushing your child’s teeth after the first tooth erupts. Clean and message gums in areas that remain toothless, and begin flossing when all the baby teeth have erupted, usually by age 2 or 2½.1
See a dentist. When the first tooth comes in, but no later than your child’s first birthday, visit a dentist who takes care of kids’ teeth. Ask your child’s doctor about dentists for kids near your home. The dentist will teach you how to clean your child’s teeth. The dentist will also make sure that your baby does not have tooth decay.2
Care at home. What else can you do at home every day to protect your baby’s teeth? Do not let your baby fall asleep while sucking on a bottle. Do not dip a pacifier in sugar or juice.1 As soon as your child is about age 1, offer a cup instead of a bottle.2
These tips can all help your child have a healthy smile.
1 “Early Childhood Tooth Decay (Baby Bottle Tooth Decay): Frequently Asked Questions.” American Dental Association. www.ada.org/3383.aspx?currentTab=2 Accessed 2010.
2 “ADA Statement on Early Childhood Caries.” American Dental Association. www.ada.org/2057.aspx Accessed 2010.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Eakle, Stephan W., DDS
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