Teething is one of your baby's big developmental landmarks. This represents a transition toward early childhood. As a parent, you are your child's best resource and guide toward a healthy future. Optimizing your child's oral health during their formative years is essential because oral health impacts overall health. You want to do everything in your power to make sure that you give your child the healthiest start in life. You can start taking steps toward achieving this goal sooner than you think. It requires mindfulness and educated decision making. Here are three ways to safeguard your baby's oral health.
Do Not Share Eating Utensils with Your Child
Your baby looks up to your for everything and begins imitating your behaviors as a way of learning. It is not uncommon for your baby to reach for food on your plate. While it is good to share new foods with your baby to expand their palate, you should do so with separate eating utensils. Do not sure eating utensils with your child. Sharing spoons, forks, and drinks can lead to early tooth decay for your baby. Bacteria called Streptococcus mutans is spread via saliva and it is one of the factors that leads to tooth decay. The enamel of baby teeth is very soften and easily penetrated by bacteria, so it is best to practice caution.
Take Your Baby to the Dentist by Their First Birthday
It may seem surprising, but you should take your baby to their first visit to the dentist by their first birthday. This is beneficial because the dentist is able to identify early if your child's oral health is in good condition. They can help to avert any potential risks for tooth decay early on, giving your child a better chance of developing baby teeth without cavities. Further, visiting the dentist (like those at Fayetteville Family Dentistry) early on helps your baby to establish trust with this important health care professional.
Start Brushing Your Baby's Gum When They Start Teething
As soon as your baby starts teething, then it is time to introduce an oral hygiene routine. Start out by getting a soft-bristled tooth brush and gently massage gums with it and some warm water. This stimulates your baby's gums. Keeping your baby's mouth clean while they are teething helps to reduce their risk of gum infection as teeth erupt. Further, it is always a good idea to model healthy behaviors. Your baby picks up on them and can carry them on into adulthood.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!