As soon as your infant’s first teeth develop, you should begin a home dental care program to prevent decay.
This program should include daily brushing, adhering to adequate procedures for nursing the infant, maintaining a proper diet, and preventing oral habits, such as thumbsucking, which can affect both the alignment of teeth and the shape of the mouth.
Following these procedures at home can prevent dental decay:
- Do not allow your child to nurse (bottle or breastfeeding) while sleeping.
- Wean your child, and introduce solid, healthy foods, soon after the first birthday.
- If you continue giving your child a bottle, fill it with only water.
- Brush your child’s teeth following the morning feeding and before bed. Initially, you can gently wipe your child’s teeth with a gauze pad or washcloth. Introduce a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste at the age of 2-3. Use a small soft-bristled brush.
- Fluoride use has long been recognized as a method for preventing decay. We can recommend the best way to implement fluoride into your child’s hygiene routine.
- Be sure to maintain a proper diet for your child; free of excessive amounts of sugar. Snacks containing sugar and drinks should be avoided between meals.
An efficient, preventive dental care program can ensure your child enjoys the benefits of a healthy smile for life.