Good oral health begins when children are still babies. Pediatrician Mark Valentine, MD stopped by KUTV to let parents and know how to take care of your baby's teeth.
• If baby’s gums are sore - gently rubbing your child's gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on.
• Baby teeth are very important to your child’s health and development.
• They help him or her chew, speak and smile.
• They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in.
• This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That is why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.
• Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth.
• When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3.
• Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 and up.
• Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste—usually not before he or she is 6 or 7. (Or when they are old enough to tie their own shoes)
• Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks. Please never do this! ?
• Infants should finish their bedtime and nap time bottles before going to bed.
• If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean—don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
• Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.
• Encourage healthy eating habits.
• Child should see the dentist by age 1
For more information, visit Baby Your Baby.org
http://health.utah.gov/oralhealth/ , http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/