As a parent, your young child's health is your first priority. You do everything in you power to keep your child safe and healthy so that they can develop in a positive manner. You should also take care of your baby's oral health with a focus on the future. Here are four ways to safeguard your child's smile.
Encourage water over sugary juice.
When your child first starts teething, the new teeth are very vulnerable to tooth decay. Your child's developing smile is full of soft enamel that can easily be attacked by acidic plaque. One of the best ways to manage plaque in your young child's mouth is to limit their intake of sugary, acidic beverages and foods. Swap out juice for water while your child's teeth are developing. Water helps to wash away food residues that can bond with bacteria to create plaque.
Do not share eating utensils.
It is natural for your child to be curious about the food on your plate and to want to try it. However, be judicious in your sharing. Do not use the same utensils you have been eating with to feed your child. A bacteria that contributes to cavity formation can be transmitted via saliva. This bacteria is called Streptococcus mutans, and you are more likely to transmit it to your child if you already suffer from cavities. Keep a separate set of eating utensils on hand whenever you are eating a meal with your baby to minimize transmission.
Go to the dentist in the first year.
It may seem strange to consider taking your baby to the dentist; however, going to the dentist is an integral part of ensuring that their oral health is in good shape. Your baby should go visit the dentist by their first birthday. At that point, they should be well into teething and developing their baby teeth. Taking your baby to a pediatric dentist early in life also helps to alleviate their stress and to instill trust in the dentist as they grow older.
Start brushing with teething.
As soon as your baby starts teething, you should start cleaning your baby's mouth. Brush their gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush and warm water. As your baby's teeth start coming in, you should then start introducing toothpaste with the advice of your dentist. It is especially important to keep your baby's gums clean because they are vulnerable to infection as new teeth erupt.