Dental care doesn’t begin with the first visit to the family dentist. Even before your baby’s teeth appear, you can get him or her used to having their gums wiped off with a wet washcloth to keep the mouth free of bacteria. Before the age of three a tiny amount of toothpaste can be used, think a grain of rice, to brush a child’s new teeth. After the age of three you can move to the size of a pea. You can also get them used to flossing by doing
Good habits only start at toothbrushing. Making sure a baby doesn’t have a bottle to fall asleep with is an important step in preserving a child’s deciduous, or baby, teeth. If you allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice the sugars can pool and bathe the teeth in sugar allowing the bacteria that cause cavities to thrive and turn your child’s teeth black or fill them with cavities.
Good food eating habits are important as well. Soda, juice, candy and even bread can promote bacteria. One food to steer your child away from is fruit leather, fruit gummies and that sort of sugary, gummy sweet that is sure to stick onto their teeth. Bread is on the list because when it sticks between teeth it is a banquet for the bacteria that cause cavities. Let your child chew only sugar-free gum. Be sure to insist your child brush after every meal. When it becomes part of life’s routine they’ll do it because they are used to it and you will have given the the gift of good dental habits and that lasts a lifetime.