Healthy teeth and gums begins with taking proper care of your infant’s gums, and modeling appropriate dental care to children every day. Parents can demonstrate to their children every day the importance of brushing their teeth consistently, and teaching the importance of flossing their teeth on a regular basis. Children need to have regular dental visits, every 6 months, starting by the age of 18 months to 24 months.
During infancy, begin healthy dental habits by wiping your infant’s gums with a soft, clean cloth after each feeding. Once, their teeth begin to come in, wipe your infant’s teeth and gums after each feeding, especially along the gum line, with a soft, clean cloth, or a soft bristled toothbrush, or a finger brush. By the age of 18 months to 24 months, brush your child’s teeth twice daily, once in the morning and once before bedtime. Use a small smear of toothpaste with fluoride, like the size of your child’s pinky finger nail. When finished, wipe off your child’s teeth with a soft cloth, until they can spit out the toothpaste on their own. It’s important to begin to wean your child from the bottle after 12-15 months old. Do not put your child to bed with their bottle.
If you are transitioning from a bottle at bedtime to no bottle at bedtime, only put water in the bottle if the child takes their bottle to bed. Healthy habits start at a young age. When you begin to feed your child solid foods, make sure to provide healthy choices. Avoid sugary foods such as candy, sticky fruit roll-up snacks, fruit juice, sugary cereals, soda. Remember, even gummy vitamins and raisins can lead to tooth decay.