Importance of Dental Care for Babies
Tooth decay or caries are among the most common chronic childhood diseases in the U.S. They can cause infections and pain, leading to issues with eating or speaking. They may also interfere with your child’s learning and outdoor activities. Studies show that children with poor oral health get lower grades and miss more school.
Oral Care for Your Baby
Newborns appear to have no teeth, but they usually have them hidden in their jaws, waiting to break out. Experts agree that oral care must begin even before their first tooth shows up. These teeth are vital in various ways. They hold spaces open for the adult teeth to grow. Additionally, they make chewing easy and help your child talk with clarity. For these reasons, taking care of your baby’s dental health is imperative.
Tooth Decay in Children
Also known as cavities, tooth decay can occur when you do not care for your baby's teeth. Plaque is the main culprit in tooth decay. The risky layer of bacteria develops on your baby’s teeth. When they eat food or ingest sugary substances, these bacteria produce acids. Consequently, these acids cause cavities and harm your toddler’s teeth. Tooth decay can result in:
- Pain and suffering.
- Damage to permanent teeth that are yet to come.
- Expensive emergency or dental care.
- Missed baby daycare or school days.
- Infections that can affect your baby’s whole body.
Preventing Tooth Decay
Fortunately, tooth decay is preventable. The use of fluoride prevents approximately one-third of cavities in baby teeth. Brushing your baby’s teeth using fluoride toothpaste decreases their risk of developing cavities. Additionally, dental sealants are also essential in preventing cavities for several years. Applying these sealants can prevent up to 80 percent of cavities in children.
What You Can Do
To ensure your baby’s dental health is fine, brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Where possible, ensure they drink water that contains fluoride. Fluoride is effective in the fight against cavities. You can also consult your pediatric dentist about applying dental sealants to your baby’s teeth.
If your baby is below six years old, keep an eye on them as they brush. Ensure they use an appropriate amount of toothpaste and do not swallow it. Do this until they hone their brushing skills.
Dental Care for Your Baby
Before and after your baby’s teeth erupt, clean their mouth after each feeding at least twice a day. Before their first tooth, use a soft cloth or gauze pad over your finger to wipe your baby’s gums gently. When the teeth erupt, start using a small soft toothbrush.
Brush in gentle circular motions to avoid hurting their delicate gums and teeth. Importantly, ensure the toothpaste you use contains fluoride. By the age of ten, your baby should be able to brush on their own.
For more on dental care for babies, call The Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry at our offices in Florida. For Destin Location call 850-810-0300, Panama City Beach 850-810-0600, or Navarre 850-409-6400.
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|Monday||8:00am - 4:00pm|
|Tuesday||8:00am - 4:00pm|
|Wednesday||8:00am - 4:00pm|
|Thursday||7:00am - 3:00pm|
|Friday||7:00am - 3:00pm|
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