DENTAL CARE FOR YOUR BABY
Congratulations on your new baby! We have developed the following tips to ensure your baby develops into a healthy toddler.
BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY
Now called early childhood caries (ECC), baby bottle tooth decay refers to tooth decay in infants and toddlers. This early form of dental disease can have devastating effects including pain, infection, early tooth loss and the need for sedation or general anesthesia to restore. The good news is that this is completely preventable by following the following guidelines.
- Never put the baby to bed with anything in his or her bottle other than water.
- If nursing, try to avoid nursing at will or leaving your baby attached after feeding. Even breast milk has carbohydrates that feed the cavity-causing germs.
- Do not share utensils, kiss your baby on the mouth, or clean his or her pacifier in your mouth. Additionally maintain good dental health yourself. Studies have shown that children get the cavity-causing germs from their primary caregiver.
- Avoid fruit juice. It is high in sugar and is acidic. If you do provide some fruit juice, dilute it with water and only give it with meals. A sippy cup that is used between meals should only contain water and plain milk.
- Start wiping your baby's gums even before teeth come in. This will teach your baby that cleaning the mouth is a normal and routine practice. Most babies will resist this to some extent but if you persevere you will find that cooperation level will improve over time.
- Set a good example for your baby. Children learn much by observation and by mimicking their primary caregivers. Make sure to brush and floss in front of your child.
- Schedule an appointment with us by your child’s first birthday or when the first teeth begin to emerge. We will provide you additional tips as well as assessing your child's risk for dental decay.