Preventing Cavities in Babies
It is never too early to begin thinking about proper dental care. In fact, by starting at a young age, you are giving your children a head start on healthy teeth and gums. Here are some tips that can help you prevent cavities in babies.
When Should I Start?
Preventing cavities should be a process that you begin before the first teeth ever appear. Baby teeth are developing during the second trimester of pregnancy and most babies have 20 teeth present in their jaw at birth.
There are ways to prevent cavities before the teeth appear. You can start by using a damp washcloth and gently wiping the baby’s gums after feedings. Doing this on a regular basis helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria. It also gets the baby accustomed to a regular oral care routine.
Once the baby’s teeth begin to appear, you have other options. Start by using a soft-bristled toothbrush that is specifically created for infants and toddlers. Don’t use any toothpaste for now but just moisten the brush with some water. Take your time and gently clean the gums and teeth.
Be sure you never put your baby to bed with a bottle. The exposure to added sugars in the milk or juice overnight can damage the growing tooth enamel. Once the enamel is damaged, cavity prevention becomes difficult.
The American Dental Association recommends that your child see the dentist no later than their first birthday. This helps to give them a good start with cavity prevention. If you feel more comfortable, you could choose a pediatric dentist that is accustomed to treating small infants and children. During the initial visit, you will be able to hold your child on your lap for comfort while the dentist examines the mouth.
By taking the time to show your children how important dental care is, you set them up for success later in life. Teach your children that caring for your teeth is fun and enjoyable. Then, they will want to continue in the practices you’ve taught them. If you have any questions about your child’s teeth, be sure to contact your family dentist in Indianapolis.