It's never too soon to start taking care of your baby's teeth. Even babies can have tooth decay! Here are some tips for preventing tooth decay in babies and young kids and taking care of your kids dental health:
- Don't let baby sleep with a bottle in his mouth. The sugars in the milk stay on his teeth and can cause discolored teeth and cavities. Also, don't let baby suck on a bottle all day long (for the same reason).
- Take your kid to a pediatric dentist. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that kids visit the dentist before they turn one.
- As soon as your baby has 2 teeth that touch, you should be flossing your baby's teeth and brushing!
- Once all of your kid's baby teeth have come in (usually around age 2 ï¿½), the dentist may want to apply topical fluoride which helps to harden the tooth enamel and prevent cavities
- If your town's water supply isn't fluoridated (or if you drink purified water), ask your dentist if you need fluoride supplements.
- Kids as young as 2-3 can use toothpaste when brushing, but just a small amount—and remind them that it's not for eating!
- Once your kid's permanent teeth grow in, you might consider a dental sealant which helps "seal out" decay.
It's never too soon to start taking care of your kid's teeth—and to teach them good dental hygiene habits.