Did you know that baby teeth are incredibly important to your child’s development? For starters, they help to ensure the health of their adult teeth later on in life by providing a clear pathway for them to follow when they erupt. They also play a critical role in their speech development and chewing mechanisms! Therefore, to keep your child’s baby teeth in good condition, simply follow these key guidelines:
Cleaning Your Baby’s Teeth
To keep your child’s baby teeth clean and healthy, a good dental hygiene routine is critical. For your infant, consider buying one of the many soft-bristled toothbrushes made specifically for infants on the market. There are also toothpaste brands that are specially made for infants—just be certain that you’re using a fluoride-free brand. If your baby’s teeth have not yet erupted, you can simply use a moist cloth to wipe off their gums. We recommend that you brush or wipe off their gums and teeth at least once a day each night before bed. Doing so will help to prevent early decay and infection!
Baby’s First Dentist Appointment
You may be surprised to learn that, according to the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended to bring your child to see the dentist appointment after their first tooth erupts. They should see a dentist by their first birthday, however, even if their teeth have not shown yet. Doing so will help to ensure your child is on track for a lifetime of good oral health.
When it comes to giving a bottle to your child, a good rule of thumb is “no bottle in the bed.” Extended exposure to liquids like milk, formula, or even juice can send the bacteria in plaque into overdrive. They feed on the sugars in these beverages and release corrosive acids onto your child’s teeth and gums, causing tooth decay and gingivitis. Keeping water in the bottle at night, however, is just fine for their oral health.
Using a pacifier or sucking on a thumb for self-soothing is absolutely normal. However, we do recommend that your child use a pacifier no later than the age of three. By this point, sucking on a pacifier or thumb could potentially harm their dental alignment or even negatively impact your child’s speech. Many children kick these habits naturally by age three, but we recommend speaking with your dentist if you still see these habits by this time.
Would you like to schedule your baby’s first appointment? Call Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today to schedule their visit today!