Think you need to wait until your baby has a mouth full of teeth to begin dental care? Wrong! In fact, the American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that you take your baby to see the dentist when he or she gets that first tooth. The first visit is primarily informational, but it could mean that you and your baby are one step ahead on the road to healthy teeth.
Baby Tooth Care
You’ll want to make sure that you are instilling good oral care habits in your baby from as early on as you can. Pediatric dentists recommend that you don’t send your babies to bed with bottles, especially when those bottles contain milk, formula or juice. Once your baby gets his or her first tooth, you’ll want to gently brush their teeth gently with just a light smear of toothpaste to begin building proper hygiene and brushing habits.
Do you have a thumb sucker? Pediatric dentists agree that a pacifier is their preferred choice in the pacifier vs. thumb debate. Ideally, your child shouldn’t use a pacifier or a thumb for sucking, but if it has to be one or the other, dentists recommend the pacifier over the thumb. Keep in mind that you should never dip the pacifier in any kind of sweet liquid before giving it to your baby, because the sugar in the liquid will simply remain in the mouth, potentially leading to future decay.
Finally, wean your baby from bottles by the age of one. By this time, you will want to encourage your child to learn how to drink from a cup as you continue to encourage a healthy and nutritious diet for your child.