As a parent, it is your first instinct to do all that you can for your baby's healthy growth and development. Make sure that you keep their oral health at the top of your list of priorities. Here are three tips to keep your baby's mouth healthy.
1. Set aside a set of utensils for your baby to use.
Your baby is naturally curious about what is on your plate. You expose your child to new foods as you eat them, but you should avoid giving them a taste from your own fork or spoon. A bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans is transmitted through saliva, and this bacteria can cause your child to suffer from early childhood cavities. You are more likely to spread this bacteria to your baby if you already suffer from tooth decay. Avoid sharing cups, spoons, and forks with your child; you should also not blow on their food if you can help it. Set aside a set of utensils for your baby to use if you want to share food from your plate.
2. Take your baby to their first dentist visit by their first birthday.
Dentists recommend bringing your baby in for their first checkup by their first birthday. Scheduling their first visit this early in their life is beneficial for a number of reasons. Your pediatric dentist is able to assess if your child is at risk for tooth decay due to dietary or hygienic reasons and can give you tips to alleviate negative risk factors. Your dentist can also identify if your child is developing problems with their bite or tooth alignment. Your baby learns to trust their dentist if they are exposed to dental visits at an early age as well, which translates into easier visits as your baby transitions into a toddler.
3. Stave off baby bottle tooth decay by only putting formula or milk into bottles.
Your baby is at risk for developing baby bottle tooth decay if they drink a lot of sugary liquids. Avoid exposing your child's teeth to damaging sugary drinks and reserve their bottle for formula and milk only. You can expose your baby to fruits by serving them fruit purees instead. Make sure that the nipple of your baby's bottle or pacifier is clean before giving it to them. You can simply wipe down the nipple with a soft cloth and warm water to remove most bacteria. Wait to introduce sugary juices and soft drinks until your baby can drink from a cup, as this helps to decrease sugary residues left on their front teeth.
To learn more, contact a family dental clinic like Hurst Family Dental.