Being a parent requires a lot of responsibility. While you may be caught up in changing diapers and getting your baby to sleep through the night, don’t forget about their dental care needs. At Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry, we help patients realize that there are oral hygiene demands at every stage of life – beginning in infancy!
While we can treat your baby or toddler at our office, there are things you’ll need to do at home to ensure their dental health stays in check.
- Start early.
Think you’re off the hook for dental care until your baby cuts his or her first tooth? Think again. Even when your baby has a “gummy” smile, you’ll need to take measures to optimize their oral health. Make it a habit each night to grab a soft, wet washcloth and gently clean your baby’s gums. This not only removes bacteria and sugars from their gums, but it can also help them become comfortable with dental care right from the start.
- Keep it Healthy.
You may not be taking away taffy or Jolly Ranchers from your baby or toddler, but there are still liquids and baby foods that you should avoid or limit. To protect emerging baby teeth, consider diluting fruit juices, buying sugar-free baby foods and avoiding flavored milk. As your child approaches the toddler stage, be diligent to clean their teeth after snacks like raisins, pretzels, crackers and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Candies aren’t the only enemy, these toddler-friendly starches can also disrupt the health of your little one’s smile.
- Be Mindful of Bad Habits
Perhaps one of the most detrimental habits for a baby’s oral health is allowing a bottle in the bed. While it can be very tempting to lay your baby down with a bottle of formula or breastmilk and watch him soothe himself to sleep, it can wreak havoc on his little smile. Only water should be used in the crib; anything else will simply bathe their gums and teeth in sugars and acids through the night. This can lead to staining and cavities.
In addition to bottles in the bed, keep an eye on your child’s thumb sucking habit. While it is generally not a cause for concern early on, if your child has trouble breaking the habit as they approach kindergarten, you may have to take action.
- Don’t Forget to Visit the Dentist.
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that you take your baby to the dentist by their first birthday or six months after their first tooth erupt, whichever comes first.
Ready to schedule your child’s first dental appointment at Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry? We love kids, and we look forward to providing a fun and rewarding experience in dental care for your child.
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13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
Phone: (770) 521-2100Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 5:00pm