There’s a notion surrounding pediatric dentistry that, because baby teeth are just placeholders, they aren’t important. Here at Showtime Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we know better. Healthy baby teeth will not only improve the quality of your toddler’s life, but they’ll also set the stage for the improved health and alignment of the subsequent permanent teeth.
At Showtime Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we dedicate so much of our energy to pediatric dentistry because we know how important it is to get your child started on a prudent dental track. Before you call to schedule an appointment at our office in McKinney, TX, take a moment to learn more as to how you can care for your child’s baby teeth.
Caring for your Baby’s Teeth
Even before your baby begins teething, make sure to wipe down the gums twice per day with a wet washcloth or gauze pad. Even without teeth, the gums can still accrue harmful bacteria. Once your baby begins to show its first teeth, it’s important to get into the routine of cleaning those new teeth and the surrounding gums. Surprisingly, the process of tooth decay can begin as soon as soon as teeth emerge, so make sure to schedule your child’s first visit at the pediatric dentist by then.
Buy a toothbrush with a small head and very soft bristles to brush your baby’s teeth. At first, wetting the brush with water will be sufficient enough. As more teeth emerge, you can start using toothpaste, but only about the size of a grain of rice. Along with regularly brushing your baby’s teeth and gums, it’s also recommended that you follow meals with water. This prevents the buildup of any bacteria or corrosive sugars.
Things to Avoid
To ensure your baby is off to a healthy start, there are several common habits that should be avoided as your baby’s teeth develop.
- Baby bottle decay. This is caused by frequent exposure to sugary liquids, like certain formulas and fruit juices. Unless you’re cleaning the teeth and gums thoroughly after exposure to sugar, these liquids can pool at the base of the teeth and will eventually lead to cavities. Our friends at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry have a pretty thorough post that looks into the problems of baby bottle decay.
- Excessive use of bottles. Try to wean your baby off of the baby bottle as early as possible. Drinking from regular cups helps keep sugars from settling around the teeth. Regular bottles are also impossible to leave in the crib.
- Limit sticky and sweet foods. Not only can these foods be challenging for your child to eat, but they also increase the chances for sugars to settle around the teeth and promote tooth decay.
Is your Baby Ready for a Checkup?
If your baby is due for a checkup or a cleaning, visit Showtime Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry in McKinney, TX. You can call us at 972-547-4443 to schedule an appointment. You can also contact us here or take a look at our pediatric dentistry guide.