You can’t afford to wait until your baby actually has teeth to begin his or her good oral health care. In fact, your baby’s primary teeth begin forming long before birth — around your sixth week of pregnancy. Therefore, to ensure your child’s proper dental development, your diet must contain all the proper nutrients, such as protein and calcium.

Oral health after your baby is born
Good nutrition and oral hygiene go hand-in-hand and should start right away for your new baby. Plus, as parents, we are the ones who develop the essential dental care routines that can help protect our children from tooth decay and health problems. Here are five tips:

1.) Start good habits
After each feeding, gently clean your infant’s gums with a wet gauze pad or cloth. When teeth begin to erupt, clean them gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny drop of fluoride toothpaste.

2.) Teach your children well
You can start teaching your child how to properly brush at about the age of two.
Support their efforts by holding their hand while they gently brush. Also, let them watch as you brush your own teeth so they can model your good technique.

3.) Learn about fluoride
Many communities have fluoride in their water supplies, but if yours does not, you should talk to your dentist about supplements, in addition to your child’s fluoride toothpaste.

4.) Fight tooth decay by fighting sugar
When teeth are constantly exposed to sugary fluids, including breast milk and formula, the risk of decay increases dramatically. That’s why it’s important to clean their teeth and gums after every feeding or meal, and never put a child to bed with anything other than water in their bottle.

5.) Make that first appointment
Children should see the dentist for the first time around the age of one, and on a regular twice-yearly schedule after that. That first trip allows your dentist to check for cavities and any developmental problems — and begin a positive relationship for future visits with your child. Call us today to schedule an appointment: 800-717-KIDS.