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4 Ways to Start Taking Care of Your Baby's Oral Health

4 Ways to Start Taking Care of Your Baby's Oral Health

Good oral hygiene habits are as important for babies and young children as they are for adults. Despite the fact that your child’s baby teeth will eventually be replaced with their permanent teeth, forming healthy oral hygiene habits even before the first tooth erupts is essential to prevent cavities and other oral health problems as they get older.

At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care and Orthodontics, our dentists Dr. Nathalie Phaeton, Dr. Ki Youn Kil, and our team offer a range of pediatric dentistry and orthodontic services for children and teenagers at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.

4 Ways to Start Taking Care of Your Baby's Oral Health

Like adults, children are most vulnerable to tooth decay because of what they eat and drink. From formula to sugary juices, snacks, and drinks, your baby’s teeth and gums are under attack from bacteria before they’re even old enough to hold a toothbrush. 

Cavities are one of the most chronic childhood health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, oral health problems lead to missed school and lower grades for children with inadequate oral health care.

But you don’t have to wait until your child’s teeth fully erupt to start taking care of them. In fact, the earlier you start caring for your baby’s teeth and gums the better.

Here are a few tips and tricks to set your baby up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums:

1. Gently wipe their gums

Gently wipe your baby’s gums after each meal or bottle, especially before they go to bed. Try to avoid putting them to bed with a bottle to keep their gums free from bacteria build-up overnight.

2. Watch out for hidden sugar

Baby formula and food may contain more added sugar than you think, so it’s important to read labels and try to prevent your kids from eating and drinking too many sweets. Encourage them to drink as much water as possible and avoid soda and overly sweetened juices and snacks.

3. Brush their teeth

Every child is different, but the first tooth generally erupts around six months. Gently brush your child’s teeth with a soft bristle toothbrush and baby-safe toothpaste as soon as their teeth start to come in.

4. Schedule your child’s first dental appointment on time

Our dentists recommend that you schedule your child’s first visit approximately six months after the first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday, in accordance with American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines. 

In addition to monitoring your child’s dental development and ensuring that their teeth and gums are healthy, dental appointments are the perfect opportunity to ask questions and get feedback and information on how to take care of your children’s oral health.

For more information about caring for your baby’s oral health and the pediatric dentistry services available at Oasis Pediatric Dental Care and Orthodontics, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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