When your baby starts teething, it is the perfect moment to being caring for the health of their gums and teeth. Many parents don’t realize that dental health can matter at such a young age, but the habits that are formed early in life will impact the child for the rest of their life. When you talk with a children’s dentist in San Diego, such as Children’s Dentistry of San Diego, there are several suggestions that you will hear:
Clean the Child’s Teeth Before Bed
Even though your baby may only have one or two teeth popping through, it is a good idea to clean those teeth before bedtime. One of the causes of tooth decay in infants is the fact that milk or juice leaves residue within the child’s mouth, and it can lead to tooth decay and other dental problems. You should never let your baby go to sleep with a bottle that contains formula, milk or juice, because the drink can continue dripping in their mouth while they are sleeping.
Instead, it is a good idea to give the child the bottle, and then use a soft rag to gently wipe the child’s gums and teeth before they go to bed. Once the teeth have been cleaned, you should only give them water until they are asleep. If the child insists on going to sleep with a sippy cup or a bottle, then fill it with water.
Regular Brushing Habits
Help your child to brush their teeth regularly. A children’s dentist in San Diego will suggest that brushing should occur twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night. Be sure you are using a toothbrush with soft bristles, and it is a good idea to only use water in the beginning. Once the child is old enough to use toothpaste, start with a fluoride-free toothpaste. These toothpaste options are good when the child is too young to understand that they need to spit out all of the toothpaste. There are many fun flavors of fluoride-free toothpastes that they can choose from.
As the child grows older, you can transition them to toothpaste that contains fluoride, but it is important that you monitor their brushing to make sure they aren’t swallowing the toothpaste. Most of the time, there is no need to rush to use toothpaste with fluoride, because most public water contains added fluoride. You should talk to a children’s dentist in San Diego about the amount of fluoride that your child needs, and they can help you to make the decision about the right timing for the child to start using fluoridated toothpaste. They might also suggest fluoride supplements depending on the dental health of your child.
Be patient and loving with your child as you are teaching them these important habits. Over time, they will be able to develop good dental habits that they can use throughout the rest of their life.
As soon as your child has teeth, it is a good idea to schedule a dental checkup. Call Children’s Dentistry of San Diego at: (858) 536-1111