How to care for your baby’s teeth and gums
Even if your baby’s smile is all gums, that little mouth should be cared for daily. Establishing a dental care routine early on helps promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Create a foundation for oral health by following these simple steps:
- Clean your baby’s gums after every feeding with a clean, damp washcloth or soft toothbrush made for babies.
- Clean your baby’s gums or teeth right before bed. A bottle shouldn’t be given to your baby in bed as this practice can lead to tooth decay.
- Start weaning your baby from a bottle and switch to a cup by the time he or she is twelve months old.
- As soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts, start brushing with a small soft toothbrush and a tiny dab (smear or rice-sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste. Brush twice daily.
- Limit sugary snacks or drinks (including juice). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children, age one through six years old, consume no more than four to six ounces of fruit juice per day as part of a meal or snack.
- Ask your pediatrician for an oral health assessment by six months. By twelve months, establish a trusted pediatric dentist for your baby.
Did you know February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? Help your friends brush up on their family’s oral health knowledge by sharing this post.