Life is hectic for new moms and dads and some function on very little sleep for several months. At Center for Dental Anesthesia in Alexandria, we don’t want the first year to fly by in a blur without busy parents giving a thought to their baby’s teeth.
Unfortunately, “out of sight, out of mind” is often the case. As it happens, it’s never too early for new parents to establish a plan for their child’s dental health.
- Before the first teeth appear, clean gums with a soft damp cloth or piece of gauze after feeding.
- Prevent baby bottle tooth decay. Most new parents are cautioned from the beginning not to put babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. But baby-bottle tooth decay still happens, so this warning bears repetition. If your baby will not sleep without a bottle, use only water.
- Take your infant to the dentist early. That’s right—infant. Your child’s first dental exam should occur when the first teeth erupt, or by the first birthday – whichever comes first.
- When your baby’s first tooth peeks through, begin brushing gently with a small, soft toothbrush. At this stage toothpaste is optional. If you use it, a dot the size of a grain of rice is enough.
- By the toddler years the amount of toothpaste can increase to a pea-sized dab. Kids may swallow instead of spitting. Swallowing a little is nothing to worry about, but you don’t want your child to swallow more than a minuscule smear.
- As your baby moves into the toddler years, consider dental sealants. Sealants guard the molars and prevent cavities by filling in the cracks and fissures where food particles can hide.
- Talk to us about pacifier use, thumb-sucking, or any other habits that affect teeth and jaw development.
- Teach your toddler to drink from a cup as soon as possible. The less time your child uses a bottle, the better. Using one too long can affect tooth alignment.
At the Center for Dental Anesthesia in Alexandria, services include pediatric dentistry. Parents from northern Virgina, Fairfax, and Prince William County have trusted us with their youngsters’ dental health. We also offer special needs dentistry and a full range of other dental services. Call for an appointment with us today!
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