Sometime during the first year of your baby’s life, usually between 4 and 10 months old, your child will get their first tooth! It will be an exciting day, the first day that small bit of white is visible broken through their pink gums. Not only will they now be able to more effectively bite through their food, they are also entering into a world of dental care. Just because your child is still a baby, doesn’t mean you can neglect their oral hygiene! Cavities don’t wait until your baby turns into a toddler. Here are a few tips to take care of your infant’s’ teeth.
Until your child turns a year old, the majority of their food will come in the form of milk, whether it be breastmilk or formula. Food plays an important part in the diet, but milk should be the main component in their daily food intake. Since milk is most often administered through a bottle, it’s important to understand baby bottle health and potential tooth decay caused by bottles. Milk has naturally occurring sugar. Milk is the perfect formulation of nutrients, so you don’t need to worry about this being unhealthy. However, letting the milk sit in their mouth for an extended period of time is not good for their oral hygiene. The easiest way to preserve the health of their teeth, is to not let them fall asleep with a bottle. Not only is this a bad habit, but it also allows the milk to sit in their mouth much too long.
Start brushing before they even have teeth
Most parents wait until their child has a full mouth of teeth before introducing a toothbrush. This can be rough, as they won’t like this new foreign object being used to brush their teeth. The easiest way to introduce a toothbrush, is to start before their teeth erupt. You can use a brush with silicone bristles to stimulate the gums, and can continue using this brush until the rest of their teeth come in and you transition to traditional bristles. Even if they have just one tooth, it’s important to help them brush their “teeth” every night before bed.