Being new parents can be really overwhelming. There are so many articles and advice offered about the best ways to keep baby healthy and prevent illnesses. Here, at Dr. Fremont’s office, we want to make sure your child’s oral health questions and concerns are as easy as possible to learn.
As adults, we know that sugar is in nearly everything we eat or drink. This is the same for our babies and children. Sugar can be found in both breast milk and formula that our babies consume. This is when decay can start on the baby teeth even in formation.
Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of dental decay in young children and babies:
If breastfeeding, use a clean, moist washcloth or cotton pad to wipe your baby’s gums after the feeding. Typically, the first tooth starts to erupt around six months of age, if not earlier. When your baby’s first tooth erupts, make sure to use a brush after each feeding. There are several options for baby’s first toothbrush. No toothpaste is required or necessary when brushing this young.
We recommend avoiding putting your baby or young child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup. Sugary drinks and foods should be limited throughout the day to avoid decay from forming. Dr. Fremont recommends diluting 100% fruit juice before giving it to your child and waiting until your baby has turned 1 year of age to introduce any juices. Chewy, sugary and sticky foods have the highest risk of causing decay. Instead of offering these types of foods to your child(ren), try offering more healthy snack options like fruits and vegetables.
If you use a pacifier for your little one, avoid putting it into your mouth. Your mouth contains bacteria that your baby has not been introduced to before. Bacteria that cause tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease can be easily transferred from your mouth to your baby’s or child.