OUR IN-HOUSE DENTAL EXPERT, YASMIN CHEBBI, DMD is back!
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, good oral care and healthy gums is very important for developing babies. So is maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall, smoking and drinking when pregnant can use serious damage to babies, with effects on brain, heart, and teeth development.
But how should you care for your babies teeth? Yasmin explains, breast milk is the best option for growing babies up to the age of 6 months. Breastfeeding also helps with the proper formation of the mouth and teeth and can help reduce the chances that your child will need braces later on in life!
You should also avoid giving your baby a milk bottle at night as this can cause teeth decay. If your baby relies on a bottle at night, fill it with water instead of milk.
Some studies suggest that when babies are first born, they do not have the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. So you should avoid salivary transmission to the baby when he or she is between 6-30 months as this is the most receptive “window of infectivity” for cavity causing bacteria.
Your baby’s first teeth will begin to erupt at around 6 months. Even before teeth erupt, it is a good idea to develop good oral care. Moisten a piece of gauze and wipe your baby’s gums after his or her last feeding of the day. Once your baby begins to grow teeth, you can start using a soft toothbrush and a very small amount of fluoride free toothpaste. Do not begin using flouride until the child is able to spit on his or her own. Baby’s first dental visit should be around his or her first birthday. This will get your baby accustomed to the dental setting and allow your baby to begin forming a relationship with your dentist. The dentist can also answer any questions you have about your child’s oral health at that time.
Pregnant? Learn how to take best care of your teeth during pregnancy here.