Updated: August 26, 2011

What you need to know about keeping baby teeth healthy

1. Protect your baby's teeth with fluoride

Fluoride, generally present in drinking water, protects teeth fromtooth decay and helps heal early decay. Ask your dentist orpediatrician if your water has fluoride in it. If it doesn't, talk toyour dentist or doctor about giving you a prescription for fluoridedrops.

2. Check and clean your baby's teeth

As soon asthey come in, clean your baby's teeth at least once a day with a clean,soft cloth or a baby's toothbrush. Best time to clean: right beforebedtime. Healthy teeth should be all one color. If you see spots orstains on the teeth, take your baby to your dentist.

At about age 2, most of your child's teeth will be in. Now you canstart brushing them with a small drop of fluoride toothpaste. Youngchildren cannot get their teeth clean by themselves. Until they are 7or 8 years old, you will need to help them brush. Try brushing theirteeth first and then letting them finish. And be sure that you put thetoothpaste on the brush----use only a pea-sized amount.

3. Feed your baby healthy food

Choose foods that do not have a lot of sugar in them. Give your child fruits and vegetables instead of candy and cookies.

4. Prevent baby bottle tooth decay

Do not putyour baby to bed with a bottle at night or at nap time. If you put yourbaby to bed with a bottle, fill it only with water. Milk, formula,juices, and other sweet drinks such as soda all have sugar in them.Sucking on a bottle filled with liquids that have sugar in them cancause tooth decay. If your baby uses a pacifier, do not dip it inanything sweet like sugar or honey.

Near his first birthday, should teach your child to drink from a cup instead of a bottle.

5. Take your child to the dentist

Ask your dentist when to bring your child in for his first visit.Usually, the dentist will want to see a child by his first birthday.

Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (www.nidcr.nih.gov)

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Comments (1)

Anonymous
January 10, 2019
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