Did you know that you need to take care of your baby's teeth just as much as you need to take care of your own teeth? Even when your baby has no teeth, there is still hygiene that needs to take place. How could this be, you are probably wondering. Babies don't have teeth AND they don't chew any food. They only drink formula or breast milk - what's the big deal?
The honest truth is that anything that is put into a baby's mouth puts it at risk for decay. There are sugars in everything, even if they are natural sugars. These sugars can eat away at the teeth that are about to come through in your baby's mouth. Those teeth that you do not see yet are already formed and are greatly affected by whatever is put in the baby's mouth. So how do you care for these teeth that have not quite erupted through the gums yet?
Rubbing a Baby's Gums You should start your baby off right in life by cleaning her gums at least twice a day. All that you need is a sterile cloth and warm water. You don't need any fancy soaps or toothpastes. The water is enough to eliminate any bacteria that has accumulated on the baby's gums. If you do this after every time your baby eats, the risk of decay is greatly diminished.
Brushing that First Tooth
As soon as your baby has her first tooth, it is time to get a toothbrush. Make sure that it is small enough to comfortably fit in her mouth and has soft bristles. At this point you can still use warm water alone to brush her teeth or you could use a very minute amount of fluoride free toothpaste to keep the teeth clean. Don't forget about her gums after those first few teeth come in though; those gums are still important!
Watch the Juice Consumption It can be tempting to give babies something sweet to drink to ensure that they stay hydrated, but juice is one of the worst things for their teeth. The sugar and acid content of the juice can cause tooth decay very easily in your child's mouth. The sugar and acid in the food team up to eat away at the enamel of your baby's beautiful, new teeth. Now before the teeth are even erupted, they are damaged.
Temporary Teeth are Important
Just because these teeth are temporary does not mean that they do not need to be cared for - those temporary teeth hold an important role in your child's mouth. If they are not properly cared for, they will fall out prematurely. This means that the permanent teeth will not have a place held for them. This could wreak havoc on your child's future oral health, forcing her to deal with invasive procedures, difficulty chewing, and embarrassment when smiling.
Provide Plenty of Water Always make sure to provide your baby/toddler with plenty of water, even after drinking formula or juice. Water helps to stimulate the production of saliva, which helps to wash away the sugar and bacteria in your child's mouth. This helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay or gingivitis, both of which can wreak havoc on your child's oral health both now and well into the future.
Starting your baby off with optimal oral health is the perfect way to ensure good future health, both oral and physical. If you have questions about how to care for your baby's teeth or are concerned about the appearance of her teeth, please call our office for an appointment today!
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at Orthodontics: (415) 681-8500 Pediatric Office: (415) 661-8383 today.
Orthodontics Pediatric Dentistry - OPDSF, 801 Taraval Street, San Francisco, CA, 94116 - Tags: pediatric dentist San Francisco CA \
Dr. Peter Lee San Francisco CA \
pediatric dentist San Francisco CA \
Orthodontics: (415) 681-8500 Pediatric Office: (415) 661-8383 \ www.opdsf.com \ 4/21/2018