When we have a newborn, we are consumed with all the different ways we can be perfect parents. We buy the books, we dote on our child and put up a proverbial force field around them. One aspect of health we tend to overlook is dental health. Because you are in charge of your child’s dental health until they can do it themselves, get a head start from infancy with these tips:
Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding.
As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water. If you are considering using toothpaste, ask your dentist first. It’s usually unnecessary the first two years.
To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime.
Let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed.
Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction. The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene. Make it a family affair!
To learn more about pediatric dental hygiene, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.
Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken and all surrounding areas.