Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle only.
The primary, or “baby” teeth play a crucial role in dental development. They allow your child to chew properly, smile confidently, aid in speech development and save space for the permanent teeth, guiding them into the correct position.
Your child’s teeth actually start forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the baby teeth push through the gums – the lower front teeth are first, followed by the upper front teeth.
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water. Begin brushing with a soft bristled toothbrush as soon as the first tooth erupts.
A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This includes breast milk, regular milk, formula, fruit juice, unsweetened fruit juice, soda, or even watered down juices.
Dipping a pacifier in a sweetener is similar to putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of sugary liquid. It can lead to deterioration of the baby’s teeth.
Teething is the term commonly used to describe with your child’s teeth are erupting through the gum line.
It is important to take care of your child’s gums even before their child’s first tooth erupts. Wipe the gums down with an infant, soft toothbrush or soft cloth, and water.