Some babies love their bottles and pacifiers. They become best friends with their binky and it has to be with them everywhere. But this attachment may not be good, and we don’t mean for their social skills, but for their teeth.
We’ve outlined the MYTHS and FACTS of children’s oral health to help you understand how to set your children on the right smile path.
Letting my baby go to sleep with formula is fine
Milk, formula, juices and other sweet drinks, such as soda, all have sugar in them. This can cause tooth decay. Only water should be used for nap or bedtime bottles. Or, try using a pacifier instead.
You should wipe your children’s gums after feedings, even before they have teeth
Wiping the gums helps promote production of saliva and good oral health.
You do not have to start brushing your children’s teeth until they have three of them
Clean your baby’s teeth as soon as they come in with a clean, soft cloth or a baby’s toothbrush. Clean their teeth at least once a day. It’s best to clean them right before bedtime.
My children will get their teeth clean enough by brushing themselves
Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves. Until they are seven or eight years old, you will need to help them brush. Try brushing their teeth first and then letting them finish. And be sure that you only put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on the brush.
Cleaning my baby’s pacifier by putting it in my mouth will do the trick
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria which live in the mouth. You can pass them to the baby through your saliva. Wash that binky with water, instead.
Children should have their first dental checkup at one year old
Baby’s first visit to the dentist should be made by the first birthday, or within six months after the first tooth erupts, whichever comes first.
Setting your children on the right path is vital to life-long good oral health. Teaching them proper brushing habits will decrease their chances of developing tooth decay. Get more information on children’s oral health.