Baby teeth are as important as permanent teeth.
Tidewater Dental Group wants to welcome your family to our dentistry practice by providing gentle care and the convenience taking care of everyone’s dental needs in one location. Our staff’s attentive, reassuring manner will make even young children feel comfortable having their teeth checked and treated. One of the additional benefits of making Tidewater your family dental clinic is that we will be constantly monitoring your family‘s dental health and keeping an updated record of every member’s dental history.
Taking care of baby teeth
Your child’s primary teeth are just as important as permanent teeth, so it’s important to prevent decay, establish good eating and cleaning habits and prevent accident and injury. If a baby tooth is lost too early, nearby teeth can shift so there is not enough room for permanent teeth to grow properly. When that first tooth appears, call us to talk about scheduling your first visit and what products are best to use for babies and young children.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries
The most common cause of early tooth decay is the frequent, prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar, including milk. Tooth decay happens when a baby is put to bed with a bottle, or given a bottle as a pacifier when your baby is fussy.
Tooth decay can also begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed by saliva from you to your baby. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. If you put your baby’s feeding spoon or pacifier in your mouth, your bacteria can be passed to your baby.
Tips for preventing tooth decay in babies and toddlers:
- Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers.
- After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
- When your baby’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water until the age of two.
- From ages 2 to 6 use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Supervise brushing to make sure your child can spit and not swallow toothpaste.
- Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Never fill bottles with sugar water, juice or soft drinks.
- Babies should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before being put to bed.
- If your child uses a pacifier, never dip it in sugar or honey.
- Encourage healthy eating habits.
Encourage babies to drink from training cups by their first birthdays.
Training or “sippy” cups are training tools to help young children make the transition from baby bottle to cup. Despite their convenience for parents, they shouldn’t be used for a long period of time. Sugary liquids like fruit juice, formula and milk increase your child’s risk of cavities, so, except at mealtimes, training cups should only be filled with water. Giving your toddler water between meals increases salivary activity which helps clean their teeth. Never use sippy cups at nap time and bedtime. And discourage children not to walk around with them as falling with a cup in their mouths can severely damage their teeth.
We look forward to giving you the best dental experience you’ve ever had. Call Tidewater Dental Group today at 757-424-1976.