Check Your Health: Taking Care of Your Baby's Teeth

Check Your Health - Taking Care of Your Baby's Teeth

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.

Baby Teeth Are Important:

• 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.

Do NOT put your baby to bed with a bottle:

• 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

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