You want the best for your baby. As a parent, you work hard to ensure your child stays happy, healthy, and loved. When it comes to your baby’s health, you follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to food, sleep, and milestone development, but what about their teeth? How do you know what to do when it comes to those teeth popping through? Tooth decay can be a real problem, especially if you’re not caring for your child’s teeth when they first appear. Find out from a children’s dentist in Tappan who explains what causes tooth decay and how you can prevent it.
What Causes Tooth Decay in Babies?
Tooth decay can develop due to a variety of different ways. When acid-producing bacteria builds up in a baby’s mouth, it becomes infected. This happens as the result of:
- Parents using their mouths to clean off a pacifier
- Testing food before giving it to a baby
- Sharing spoons or cups with a baby
Tooth decay can also be caused by allowing babies to have drinks other than water. When their teeth and gums are exposed to liquids that have added sugars, that sugar turns to acid by the bacteria in their mouth, which causes teeth to decay.
Giving a baby a bottle of formula, milk, juice, or any other liquid other than water before bedtime can lead to tooth decay, as the liquid will sit on their teeth throughout the night.
How Can I Prevent It?
If you want to prevent tooth decay from appearing, there are several things you should do as your child grows. These include:
- Cleaning your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth. From birth to 12 months, you can gently wipe their gums to keep their mouth clean. Once the first tooth appears, use a soft toothbrush and a little bit of fluoride toothpaste (grain of rice).
- Brushing your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes once they are between the ages of 12 and 36 months. Using the same amount of fluoride toothpaste until your child reaches the age of 3, brush after breakfast and before bed.
- Never allow your child to have a bottle or food when going to bed. This can increase their chances for ear infections and tooth decay.
- Never use a bottle or sippy cup as a pacifier, and if your child wants either, make sure to fill it only with water.
- Limiting the amount of sweet and sticky foods your child eats.
- Scheduling an appointment with your child’s dentist before they turn 1.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent tooth decay in your baby. Not all cases are the same, and not all forms of tooth decay can be prevented, but if you are concerned about your baby’s teeth, talk to your pediatric dentist in Tappan.
About the Author
At Smile More Kidz, we can offer adequate care for our young patients. Providing safe, effective treatments for kids of all ages, we can develop a plan for your child’s teeth and oral health care throughout their duration from childhood to adulthood. For questions about our services, visit our website or call (845) 406-9253.