Healthy habits start young! In fact, ensuring your child has good oral hygiene begins when you spot their first tooth poking through. Starting them off young with a great knowledge of dental care is the key to your child’s success in maintaining a healthy, happy smile. Here are some of our best dental care tips for babies.
Don’t let them fall asleep with a bottle
When babies fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth, some milk stays on the mouth and teeth, eventually causing tooth decay. To prevent this, we recommend removing the bottle from your child’s crib as soon as it is finished and make sure to always take them out of their crib to feed them.
Start cleaning teeth when they appear
You can start cleaning your child’s teeth the moment they appear by wiping them with a soft washcloth or small toothbrush and water. Once your child reaches 18 months of age, they can begin using a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste as well. Encourage your child to spit after itching brushing but rinsing is not necessary when using a child-safe toothpaste. Be sure to teach your child early on to brush twice a day, after breakfast and before bed.
Use a cup
Once your child reaches 6 months of age, they should transition to a cup. Remember, they won’t immediately take to drinking from a cup but it is an important skill for them to learn early on. When transitioning your child to a cup, we recommend using one with a straw as straws ensure the drink doesn’t just hit their teeth and cause damage. Once your child is a toddler, they should solely drink from a cup.
Water should be the main drink your child enjoys throughout the day. In addition to this, plain cow’s milk is a good option for children 12 months and older. For babies under 12 months, make sure to boil and cool the water before serving, or serve only distilled water. Fruit juice and other sugary drinks can cause tooth decay. If serving this to your child, we recommend watering it down and brushing their teeth afterwards.
A healthy mouth begins with a healthy inside! There are lots of ways our overall health can impact our oral health so eating a healthy diet is key to overall success. Equally, there are plenty of foods that can directly impact your teeth’s health! Once your child is ready for solids, we recommend serving them a balanced diet. And remember – children watch from learning so it’s important the whole family eats it as well.