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Caring for Your Infant’s Mouth

Posted on June 9th, 2016 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

Dental Health During Pregnancy

Your child’s oral health is a top priority from day one—and we don’t mean their birthday. When you find out you or your partner are pregnant, oral health should be one of the first things on your mind. If the mother has poor oral health, bacteria and infections may be transferred to the unborn baby. Schedule dental checkups during pregnancy to ensure your mouth is healthy.

Newborn Oral Health

When your baby is born, don’t put dental care on the back burner. Just because your little one doesn’t have teeth yet doesn’t mean you can ignore oral health. Starting proper oral health early on in life sets your little one up for success later on down the line. It is recommended that your child see a dentist before their first birthday to check development and ensure proper cleaning. Cleaning a newborn’s gums helps rid the mouth of harmful bacteria which can help their overall health by reducing the risk of infections. It also prepares them for brushing their teeth by making oral health a part of their daily routine. They will be less resistant to you brushing their teeth when the time comes. Clean your infant’s gums twice a day, just as you would brush their teeth.

First Sign of Teeth

When your baby’s first teeth start to poke through, brushing needs to begin. Use a soft-bristled tooth brush and fluoride-free toothpaste to start off. Avoid giving your child sugary drinks and food as much as possible. Too much sugary liquid can cause what is called “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay” which is also known as “early childhood dental caries.” This is a frequent and damaging condition where young children experience tooth decay. Frequent and long term sucking such as an addiction to pacifiers as your child gets older may also contribute to oral health problems. Sucking is normal for a child’s first few years of life, but try to ween them off of sucking habits as best you can to avoid issues later on.

Start Good Habits Early

Get your child in the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day and use games and songs to encourage proper oral health. Making dental health fun is a great way to make sure the habits stick. Frame the dentist as a friend, not someone scary, and try to go somewhere that has experience working with children and knows how to handle them and make the dentist less traumatic.

Art of Modern Dentistry

The earlier dental health care starts, the better off your child will be. The absolute best thing you can do is to lead by example. Stay up on your dental health and your child will learn from watching. Not only will this set your little one up for success, it will keep your smile healthy and keep you happy for years to come! Don’t forget to stop by Art of Modern Dentistry twice a year to make sure you and your children are on the right track!
Courtesy of Colgate

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