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How Can I Keep My Baby’s Teeth Healthy?
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Even though baby teeth start falling out around age five, it is still very important to keep a baby’s teeth healthy to decrease the risk of infection and provide a healthy environment for permanent teeth when they finally come in. The gums and teeth interact with a lot of bacteria and other substances on a regular basis, so, if they aren’t healthy, your baby could be exposed to a variety of illnesses.
Because your baby cannot take care of his or her own teeth, it falls to you, as the parent, to make sure that your baby’s teeth are healthy. But, whether you’re a first-time parent or haven’t had a baby in a while, you might not know where to start with your baby’s dental care. Let us give you some tips.
Don’t Leave the Baby with the Bottle
Many parents leave a bottle with a baby in the crib at night to help him or her go to sleep. However, the formula or milk in the bottle, if left to sit on the baby’s teeth all night, can break down into an acid that will cause tooth decay. Even if your baby does not yet have teeth, it is still best to refrain from starting that habit.
If your baby has been accustomed to having a bottle at night, try switching from milk to water or give the baby a pacifier instead. This will give him or her the comfort of having a bottle without the risk of future dental problems.
Additionally, helping your baby make the transition between bottles and spill-proof cups as soon as possible will help the teeth come in more normally.
Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth
Tooth brushing should begin as soon as the first tooth pokes through. Make sure to use soft fingerbrushes or moistened baby toothbrushes with approved toothpastes. The toothbrush should be replaced about every three months to ensure that bacteria do not begin to build up.
You should continue brushing your baby’s teeth until he or she is old enough to hold and use a toothbrush him or herself. At that point, you will need to show him or her proper brushing techniques to ensure that your child’s teeth will remain healthy. You can make a family event out of brushing your teeth so that everyone can start to build up healthy oral hygiene habits.
At twelve to eighteen months, it will be time for your baby to see your family dentist.
Affinity Contemporary Dentistry is Edmonds WA's #1 family dentist. We are trained and updated in all the newest in dental technology. We offer a wide array of dental procedures and provide the residents of Edmonds with the highest quality and comforts offered in dental care. We can offer the convenience of procedures such as same day crowns. To learn more about us, visit www.affinitydentistry.com.
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