The team at Smile Sonrisa Dental is passionate about giving all children the best possible start in life, and that begins with parent education. Our Houston dentist for kids offer a first infant home care program for parents of children who are 6 months thru 35 months of age. Through this paid service, we perform a cleaning of your baby’s teeth and apply a professional fluoride treatment in the form of a varnish. We also teach parents about proper oral hygiene and other good habits to develop to keep baby teeth healthy until they are ready to fall out naturally.
Preventing decay in baby teeth can help prevent problems with permanent teeth. If primary teeth are lost too soon because of decay, the remaining teeth will start to shift toward the space left behind. This can block the eruption of some of the adult teeth or make them come in crooked, which will require the services of a Houston orthodontics specialist. Decayed baby teeth can additionally cause damage to the underlying adult teeth.
Care of your baby’s mouth can begin at birth. At least twice a day, and preferably after every feeding, you should wipe your baby’s gums gently with a soft washcloth or piece of gauze. This helps remove sticky plaque from the mouth that can cause damage to the teeth as they erupt at around 6 months of age. Once the teeth emerge from the gums, you can brush them with a soft toothbrush and plain water. At around 1 year of age, you can start using a baby toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. Your Houston dentist will advise you on when it is time to start using small amounts of fluoride toothpaste when brushing.
Keep brushing your children’s teeth until they are old enough to hold the brush properly. At that point, you can brush your teeth together so that you can model proper techniques. Even then, your children will miss spots, so continue to supervise and help them out if necessary until they can brush, rinse, and spit the correct way without assistance.
Extensive tooth decay can occur if your child is allowed to use the breast, bottle, or sippy cup as a pacifier. When children fall asleep with breast milk, formula, cow’s milk, or juice in their mouths, the liquid pools around the teeth, forming acids that destroy tooth enamel. To prevent this, avoid bedtime or naptime feedings, wipe your baby’s teeth with gauze after feedings, and give your child a bit of water after a feeding to rinse the mouth. Most importantly, wean your child from the bottle around his or her first birthday and move to a sippy cup or regular cup. At this time, they should be drinking mostly water throughout the day and plain milk at mealtimes.
To learn all there is to know about keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy from infancy to adulthood, contact a Houston family dentist at Smile Sonrisa Dental today. Our baby dental care experts are happy to instruct you on healthy habits and provide cleanings and fluoride treatments to protect your child’s teeth from decay.