Many parents are under the impression that good oral health is not important during a child’s toddler years, as their baby teeth will eventually fall out anyway. Unfortunately, that is not the case, but the neglect of baby teeth isn’t the only mistake that parents make when it comes to the oral health of their toddlers. Consider employing the following tips to protect your baby’s teeth and gums.
1. Encourage Oral Care at an Early Age
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that your child should visit the dentist by his first birthday. In addition to detecting any potential problems, this preventative care can also save you money in the long run. It is also important to teach your child about good habits of brushing and flossing, and even before your child has teeth, brushing the gums using a baby toothbrush is a good idea.
2. Control Pacifier Use
While the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages pacifier usage to help with the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome, long-term usage may be hazardous when it comes to dental health. Lengthy pacifier use can affect your child’s bite and the shape of his mouth. Professionals believe that pacifier use should be discontinued by the age of two or three.
3. Don’t Overload Your Child with Sugary Beverages
Many parents believe that allowing their child to drink juice all day is a suitable beverage choice but, in fact, it can be hazardous to their dental health. By drinking sugary beverages from a sippy cup, decay can occur on the back of your child’s front teeth. In addition to tooth decay development, the consumption of juice has also been linked to obesity in children.
4. Be Cautious of Certain Medicines
Many drug companies work to make their medicines more appealing to children by making them sugary or flavored. However, if these medications stick to the teeth, the likelihood that he will experience tooth decay will increase. Certain asthma medications and antibiotics can also result in a yeast overgrowth, and this can lead to oral thrush, a fungal infection.
5. Avoid Naptime Bottles
Some parents insist that their child will not take a nap without a bottle full of milk, formula, or juice. Unfortunately, these sugary liquids will provide food for the bacteria that lives in your child’s mouth, and this can trigger decay. If your baby needs to have a bottle in order to go down for a nap, ensure that it contains only water.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s oral health, contact our office and set up a consultation.