Category Archives: Baby

When Should I Start Brushing My Baby’s Teeth?

This is a question that we receive often from first time parents, and understandably so. Most (probably all) of us do not remember the first time our teeth were brushed. That’s okay, because we’re here to help!

It is very important to care for your child’s teeth from the beginning. Here are some recommended tips for starting your child on the path to healthy oral hygiene:

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. A baby’s front four teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.
  • For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste.
  • For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist or physician. Supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
  • Until you’re comfortable that your child can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Caries)

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Caries)

 

One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay. This
condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids
that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula,
fruit juice and other sweetened drinks.

group-of-babies
Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can
cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquid pools around the child’s teeth
giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel.
If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain
only water. If your child won’t fall asleep without the bottle and its usual
beverage, gradually dilute the bottle’s contents with water over a period of two
to three weeks.
After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or
gauze pad to remove plaque. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the
child’s head in your lap or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor.
Whatever position you use, be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.