Pediatric Dentistry Tips for Parents to Brushing Infant Teeth

Pediatric Dentistry Middletown, NY

Pediatric dentistry is important for even the youngest of infants. When a baby is born, they already have the 20 primary teeth, or baby teeth, in the jaw. These teeth can come in as early as four months old. By the age of three, your child will have all of the baby teeth. Because tooth decay is the most common disease in childhood, brushing your infant’s teeth now is important.

Preventing tooth decay

To help keep away tooth decay, parents should not give children sugary beverages. Even seemingly healthy beverages, such as fruit juice, can contain surprising amounts of sugar. Breast milk, formula and water are better liquids for infants to have. Prolonged exposure to these drinks often causes tooth decay. This means that parents should try to brush an infant’s teeth after every meal. There are a few other ways parents can prevent decay, including:

  • Avoiding sharing saliva — One way that babies can develop tooth decay is by bacteria being passed to the baby from the mother. Sharing spoons is not a good idea
  • Using plain pacifiers — Some parents dip pacifiers in honey or other sugar to make them more appealing for the baby. However, this allows the sugar to sit against the teeth for a prolonged time
  • Not putting the baby to bed with a bottle — A baby should not fall asleep with a bottle in the mouth. This makes the sugars from the milk or other liquid sit on the teeth

Oral hygiene for infants

Even when babies do not yet have teeth, parents can promote good oral hygiene. Parents should wipe babies’ mouths with a clean and damp gauze pad after every feeding. If parents cannot brush the teeth after every meal, they should try for at least twice a day. Using a toothbrush designed for children is a good idea.

Fluoride toothpaste is important for helping the teeth grow strong. However, pediatric dentistry recommends that parents only use toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. That way, even if the infant swallows some of the toothpaste, they will not be ingesting much. Once the baby has two touching teeth, parents can begin flossing. Parents should continue to brush children’s teeth until the children can brush well.

One way that parents can make brushing easier is by getting into a routine. When babies know when to expect toothbrushing, the process can be easier for everyone. Another way to get babies into a brushing routine is to do it with the whole family. Young children want to be included and this is a good way to do so. Finally, using toothbrushes or toothpaste with fun characters can help make brushing the teeth a fun activity.

Visit a pediatric dentistry practice today

Good oral hygiene starts at home. However, it does not end there. Regularly visiting a pediatric dentistry practice can help infant teeth remain healthy. This can give your child a healthy smile from the very beginning.

Request an appointment here: or call Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry at (845) 363-4177 for an appointment in our Middletown office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentist in Middletown, NY.

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