Did you know that September is Baby Safety Month? Here at Bowen Legacy Dental, we want to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of keeping your child’s teeth safe from tooth decay! Although dental care is often overlooked for infants, oral healthcare is a vital component of healthy development. And, believe it or not, proper oral care should start before your child has even begun to develop their teeth. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you schedule a dental appointment for your child before they reach their first birthday.
If you have a young child who has yet to visit our office, take this opportunity to schedule an appointment! In the meantime, here is what you should be doing to care for your child’s oral health at home.
Caring for your baby’s mouth
It’s important to clean your child’s mouth daily, even if your child hasn’t developed any teeth. To do so, simply cradle your baby with one arm and wrap a warm moistened washcloth around the index finger of your free hand, gently massaging the gum tissue.
Once your child’s baby teeth begin to erupt, you should begin to use a soft-bristle baby toothbrush and a small amount of child-safe toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth twice daily.
Avoiding baby bottle tooth decay
You should never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice in their mouth. Likewise, you should not permit your baby to nurse continuously as they sleep. The sugars inside of these liquids can accumulate inside of their mouth, leading to the early development of cavities in their baby teeth. If your child cannot fall asleep without something to suck on, offer them a pacifier as an alternative.
Don’t share your tooth decay
Tooth decay is an infectious and transmittable disease—certainly not something you want to pass down to your children. Always avoid testing the temperature of a bottle with your mouth, sharing utensils, or cleaning a pacifier or bottle nipple with your mouth. By doing so, you can avoid the risk of transmitting bacteria that causes tooth decay to your child.
If you have any questions about caring for your child’s oral health, or would like to schedule an appointment for you or your child, give us a call at Bowen Legacy Dental today.