Baby teeth are temporary, but did you know that they will shape the way your child talks and how their smile looks? In that regard, they may not be as temporary as you think. Your son or daughter’s first teeth are creating a placeholder for their permanent ones. If not taken care of properly, the spacing of your loved one’s teeth and their speech can be affected. Keep reading to learn why baby teeth are paramount to your child’s health and what you can do to take care of them properly from a family dentist in Selden.
Tips for Baby Tooth Care
Now that your baby’s teeth are coming in, it’s time you take care of them—even if they are temporary. The health of your child’s gums and teeth rely on the care you provide so keep reading to learn some tips on how to keep your baby’s smile healthy.
Tip #1: Start Before Your Baby’s Teeth Come In
You can start cleaning your baby’s mouth even before they have teeth grown in! Wipe their gums off after feeding with a warm and wet cloth or dampened piece of gauze you can wrap around your finger. This will not only prevent bacteria from living in their mouth, but it will also get your baby used to cleaning their mouth.
Tip #2: Avoid Cavities
Putting your baby to bed with a bottle of milk can cause tooth decay. Don’t leave your child with a bottle for long periods of time, especially before bed, to lower the risk of cavities.
Tip #3: Brush Your Baby’s Teeth Correctly
Once your baby has his or her first tooth, start brushing using a finger toothbrush. This is a small, soft sleeve that fits over your finger with tiny bristles. You can use fluoride-free training toothpaste to brush their teeth and get them used to the process. You can also give them a toy to distract them while you sit, making your job a lot easier and brushing more fun for your son or daughter.
Tip #4: Use Toothpaste at Age 2
Once your loved ones’ teeth have grown in fully, usually around the age of 2, it’s time you start brushing their teeth with a little toothbrush. Use a small bit of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) to brush their pearly whites twice a day.
Tip #5: Practice Careful Upkeep
As mentioned above, baby teeth preserve spacing for the permanent ones and help your baby chew and talk. Without proper care, your child can develop infection in the gums and decay which can affect the spacing of their permanent teeth. Be careful to make sure their toothbrushes are always sterile, and that you keep up a regular oral health routine for them.
As with many things in life, preparation is key. Use our tips to make sure you prepare your loved ones for oral health success by taking proper care of their baby teeth. This will not only prepare their gums for adult teeth, but it will also get your children used to the idea of oral health care and set them up for a healthy future.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Stephen Scotto-Lavino has been practicing dentistry in Selden for over 30 years. He enjoys caring for patients of all ages because he knows some of the most common health problems in children are oral health issues. He currently runs his own practice and can be contacted by phone at (631) 698-9400 for any questions.