What can any parent do to prevent cavities from harming a child’s smile? We asked our pediatric dentist in Miami Lakes this important question.
While routine appointments with a professional provide the best route to a healthy, pain-free smile, the choices parents make at home matter too. These are the three at-home tips our dentist recommends.
1. Block a Fruit Juice Habit
Do you send your baby to sleep every night with a bottle full of juice? Do you serve juice as an alternative to milk during some meals and snacks? The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children younger than 1 shouldn’t drink juice. Our dentist would extend that timeframe.
Many drinks labeled as fruit juice actually contain loads of sugars, and those ingredients can wear away a tooth’s natural defenses. Put a baby to bed with sugar, and enamel will wear away all night long. As soon as the tooth cuts through the gums, decay can begin.
Our dentist recommends milk for meal drinks. And nighttime sips shouldn’t contain sugar of any sort. Build this habit now, and your child won’t feel the need for sugar before bed throughout their life.
2. Don’t Sanitize With Your Mouth
A newborn baby has a mouth free of bacteria. Unfortunately, parents can inadvertently add attackers.
Let’s describe a common scenario:
- Your child drops a spoon on the floor.
- The child cries, as the spoon is out of reach.
- A parent picks up the spoon, and worries about contaminants on the floor.
- The parent puts the spoon in their mouth and gives it back to the child.
This seems like an innocent action, but bacteria enters the mouth in this manner. It’s better to rinse items in the sink.
3. Start Brushing Early
Parents often worry about their small children ingesting large amounts of fluoride toothpaste. Don’t let these concerns keep you from brushing the child’s teeth.
Start brushing as soon as baby has teeth. Use a tiny amount of paste on a soft brush, and run the tool all around baby’s teeth and gums. Don’t push hard, but do be thorough.
If you have questions or concerns about how to brush a baby’s teeth, visit our pediatric dentist in Miami Lakes. She’ll be happy to show you how to hold the brush and how to move the bristles.
Talk to Your Doctor
Parents have plenty of questions about how to keep a child’s teeth healthy. A pediatric dentist’s job is to answer those questions with compassion. No query is too small or silly for an expert to address. Your child’s health is at stake, so you should get all the help you need.
At Dison Family Dentistry, we prioritize education. We set aside time in every appointment to answer questions and address concerns.
If you’re looking for a partner in your child’s dental health, we’d love to talk with you. Contact us for an appointment.