Your child’s baby teeth are temporary. But until their permanent teeth come in, they will depend on their baby teeth to help them eat and to speak clearly, so those teeth need to be protected. You should start cleaning your child’s gums with a clean piece of gauze, and when your child’s first tooth comes in, you should start brushing it.
One cause of tooth problems for small children is baby bottle tooth decay. This most frequently occurs when babies are given a bottle with a sugary drink inside, or given a pacifier that has been coated in something such as honey. Your child’s bottles and pacifiers should be kept clean. Your child’s bottle should only contain milk, formula or water. Do not put sugar water, or juice in the bottles. This is especially true when you put your baby down for bed or for a nap with a bottle. The liquid will pool in your child’s mouth, and can cause cavities while they sleep.
The human mouth is full of bacteria. If you clean your child’s pacifier, bottle tops or spoons with your own saliva, you can transfer the bacteria from your mouth to your child’s.
Your child should see the dentist within six months after her first tooth has come in, but before her first birthday. That will be a good time to speak with the dentist about when to start using a fluoride toothpaste.
If you have concerns about your child’s dental care, our dentist, Dr. Peggy Lovecchio will be happy to see your child for an exam and answer any questions you have. If live in the Roanoke, Virginia, area and you would like to make an appointment for your child at Love Family Dentistry, call 540-904-2300 today.