Your Baby’s Dental Care Solution
Congratulations on the newest addition to your family! We welcome infants and toddlers at Children’s Dental Center in Memphis.
Your Baby's First Tooth
As your baby grows and develops, it's important to be prepared for their dental milestones. Is your little one approaching the arrival of their first tooth? Follow these tips to ensure that your child is on the path to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
As your little one's first tooth starts to emerge, it's time to consider switching to a baby toothbrush. You'll typically have two options: a long-handled toothbrush that you can hold alongside your baby or a finger-puppet-like brush that slips over your index finger.
Both options have soft, sparse bristles that are gentle on your baby's teeth and gums. During this early stage, there's no need to use toothpaste – just moisten the bristles with water before brushing.
If your baby is resistant to the toothbrush, don't get discouraged. Simply switch back to using a damp washcloth for a few months and try the toothbrush again later.
As your child goes through the teething process, they'll likely want to chew on anything and everything, and a baby toothbrush with a teething feature can quickly become a favorite toy during this time.
Gum Care Tips
It's never too early to start taking care of your baby's oral health. In fact, even before their first tooth comes in, their gums can benefit from some gentle attention.
After each feeding, you can wrap a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze around one of your fingers and gently rub it over your baby's gums.
This not only helps to clear any food fragments from their mouth but also sets the foundation for good daily oral care habits. By starting early, you're helping to ensure that your little one's teeth and gums stay healthy and strong as they continue to grow.
Starting With Toothpaste
As more teeth begin to appear, you can introduce toothpaste into your child's dental routine. However, it's important to choose the right kind of toothpaste for their needs.
For the first two years, opt for fluoride-free toothpaste unless otherwise advised by your dentist at Children’s Dental Center, as too much fluoride can be harmful to young children. Use only a tiny amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
From the start, encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing in preparation for when they're ready for fluoride toothpaste. Remember, fluoride toothpaste should never be swallowed at any age.
By establishing good dental habits early on, you can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Teach By Example
Little ones are excellent mimics, so why not use this to your advantage when it comes to their dental health? By brushing and flossing in front of your child, you can teach them the importance of good dental habits from a young age.
As soon as your child shows an interest, offer them their own toothbrush and encourage them to brush along with you. Look for toothbrushes with chunky, easy-to-grip handles to make it easier for them to join in.
Keep in mind that most young children don't yet have the dexterity to thoroughly clean their own teeth until they're around six or seven years old. So, you'll need to help them out.
Try making brushing fun with flavored toothpaste, toothbrushes featuring their favorite characters, or singing songs about brushing. The key is to instill healthy oral habits early on to set your child up for a lifetime of healthy, cavity-free teeth!
Info On Cavities
Avoid sweetened liquids like flavored drinks or soda. Remember that the sugars in fruit juice, formula, and milk (including breast milk) can also lead to decay, so regular teeth and gum cleaning is important no matter what.
Never let your baby go to bed with a bottle! Sugary liquids left in their mouth for too long can cause baby-bottle caries, also known as early childhood decay, and lead to dental problems down the line.
Cavities are caused by bacteria that feed on the sugars in your diet, so it's important to limit both the amount and frequency of sugary foods. Equally important is limiting the introduction of cavity-causing bacteria, which means avoiding sharing food or utensils with your baby.
Bacteria from your mouth can be passed to your baby and increase their risk of developing cavities. By taking simple steps to limit the introduction of harmful bacteria, you can help protect your baby's dental health and promote a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Visit Children's Dental Center
It's important to bring your baby in for their first dental visit to Children’s Dental Center within six months of their first tooth erupting, which is typically around their first birthday. Decay can occur in even the tiniest of teeth, so the earlier your child sees us, the better their chances of avoiding problems.
During the visit, we'll check for any signs of early issues with your baby's oral health and provide guidance on the best way to care for their teeth. Remember that approaching each dental visit with a positive attitude can make a big difference in helping your child feel comfortable with regular checkups.