Whether it’s your debut into parenthood or you’ve already been there a few times—nothing tops holding your newborn for the first time. During those formative years, your child relies heavily on you for loving and diligent care, including when it comes to their oral health.
When to Get Started
The dental routine for your child will change around 6 months of age, with the arrival of their first teeth. Generally this also signals a switch from breast milk or infant formula to firmer foods.
As babies are not capable of attending to their own dental hygiene, it’s your role as the parent. How well you do can essentially affect your child for a lifetime.
A child’s baby teeth are extremely important—as crucial as their adult teeth in fact. It takes strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak, and fill out that cute little smile.
Baby teeth also maintain adequate spacing in the mouth to allow the emergence of adult teeth. Good dental care at a young age facilitates excellent oral health as an adult. How can you, as a parent, help?
What You Can Do
- Avoid food choices loaded in sugar, including filling baby bottles with sugar water, sodas, or juices. Same goes for pacifier’s—no dipping it in honey, or other sweets.
- After each feeding, wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth to clean away remnants of food, or plaque that could be forming on the new tooth.
- The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that a child be seen by a dentist as soon as the first tooth emerges or no later than their first birthday. At this checkup, your dentist can check for any signs of decay, and demonstrate how to clean baby teeth properly, plus evaluate the effects of any habits such as thumb sucking.
Give your child the gift of a happy, healthy smile that can last for a lifetime. Contact your favorite San Diego dentist today. Making your family’s smile shine is what we do best!
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