Give your little one the best advantage by starting their dental care early, instilling healthy habits from the outset and avoiding these common mistakes. Here are Bertagnolli Dental’s top 7 ways to improve your baby's dental health.
1. Don't put off their first visit to the dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child should see a dentist by the time they are a one-year-old. It is proven that early intervention by a professional will lower your child's risk of developing issues. Your dentist can demonstrate correct oral hygiene practices and analyze the potential for tooth decay.
2. Avoid bottles at bedtime
Putting a baby down to sleep with a bottle of milk may save you some time and hassle, but this is a dangerous habit to form. The sugars in milk will fuel bacteria in your babies mouth all night long, facilitating tooth decay. Clean your baby's teeth before bedtime, and then if necessary to sooth them, you can give a bottle with warm water.
3. Be aware of high sugar content in medicines
Medications designed for babies and children can have extremely high sugar levels. This is intended to make them more palatable for children and easier to take. This is not usually a cause for concern, however, if your infant has to take a daily oral medication with high sugar content, you should ask your dentist for specific advice.
4. Don't get too dependent on a sippy cup
Sippy cups or 'no-spill cups' are used by toddlers in the transition between bottles and drinking cups. The design of sippy cups means that the liquid is often ingested slowly and has ample time to sit within the mouth. For milk and juice, this means a high exposure to sugar and an increased risk of tooth rot. Try to give your child the sippy cup at mealtimes only and avoid them using it continuously throughout the day.
5. Ditch the pacifier
Children over the age of 2 and 3 should not be using a pacifier. Prolonged pacifier use can affect the growth of your child's milk teeth, permanently altering their arrangement and the shape of their mouth. Help your child to become independent of pacifiers at a young age and avoid the risk of dental malformation.
6. Reduce the juice
After milk, fruit juice is the go-to beverage of choice for young children. What many parents don't realize is that juices often contain added sugar, and can be as harmful as soda to their child's developing teeth. Look for pure fruit juices with no added sugar and limit the consumption of sweet drinks to mealtimes. Accustom your child to drinking water throughout the day.
7. Cultivate healthy dental hygiene habits
Taking the time to practice good oral hygiene with your baby from the very beginning will set them up for a healthy future. You can start by cleaning their gums with a soft cloth and water twice a day. Once their milk teeth start to appear, use a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to clean all surfaces gently. This is the most impactful way to improve your baby's dental health.
Contact Bertagnolli Dental today for further questions about the 7 ways to improve your baby’s dental health. Now is a great time to make the changes that will positively impact the way your children grow and following these simple guidelines will make your life easier too! We are always available to help make your dental visits and home dental care a better experience at Bertagnolli Dental.