You are overjoyed at the arrival of your baby; and you have a million questions about different aspects of their care. Since teeth don’t start to erupt until the four to six month mark, dentistry may not be foremost in your mind; however, understanding how to care for your child’s teeth will come into play sooner than you think. A consult early on with your pediatric dentist will familiarize you with what you need to know to take great care of your child’s teeth as they grow.
A big mistake made pertaining to your child’s oral health is the beverage served in a baby bottle or sippy cup that your child has access to throughout the day. Anything other than water is contributing to the potential for plaque formation on your child’s teeth.
Baby teeth can develop dental decay; you don’t want to put your child through painful treatment and you certainly don’t want your child to experience premature tooth loss that can lead to problems with the development of permanent teeth.
A consult early on with your pediatric dentist will familiarize you with what you need to know to take great care of your child’s teeth as they grow.
There are many different types of “sippy” cups. Since you are trying to wean your child from a bottle, do not provide a cup that acts like a bottle. You want your child to go from sucking to drinking so provide a cup that has a spout, not a valve that requires sucking.
A cup with two handles will be much easier to manage; remember your child is still learning about coordination.
A cup with a weighted base will make spills less likely; make sure the lid screws on or fits securely.
Breast milk, formula, and regular milk coupled with water are the ideal beverages for your growing infant. Around age one you can begin to introduce juice occasionally with meals. Keep juice to a minimum; you might even consider watering it down. When provided with meals, saliva production helps to keep teeth flushed.
Between meals and before bedtime (including naps), your child’s bottle or cup should only contain water. If milk or juice is served throughout the day or before bed, the sugary liquid pools in your child’s mouth leading to the potential for damage.
Plan to take your child for their first dental exam with a pediatric dentist around twelve months of age. If it’s time to schedule your child’s appointment, contact our friendly team at The Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists today.