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Infant Care

Even before your child gets teeth there are several habits that you should work on to help ensure good oral health. Getting in the habit of wiping your baby’s mouth with a wet washcloth after nursing or feeding is a great routine to help establish good oral health. There are also some products that can be slipped on the finger and are made of soft material that work well too.

When it comes to diet, it is best not to put infants/toddlers to bed with a bottle/sippy-cup or allow “on demand” breastfeeding during the night. These activities can lead to severe dental decay and build bad habits. If your child must go to bed with something to drink, the only thing that is recommended is water. Flavored waters and sugar-free drinks are discouraged because they reinforce bad habits, and can lead to dental decay also.

As your child begins to get teeth, you may use an appropriate sized toothbrush. You may use fluoride free toothpaste or water alone. Children at the age of three may begin to attempt to brush with fluoride free toothpaste to practice spitting. You may switch over to fluoridated toothpaste once you are confident your child is not swallowing the toothpaste. Parents must always be in control of the amount of toothpaste being used.

As children approach the age of two, many parents experience difficulty in brushing their child’s teeth. Children begin reaching cognitive milestones, and want to become more independent. You may allow your child to brush their teeth, but a parent must always finish for them. If your child cries or fusses while doing this, it is normal as many children this age only want to do things for themselves. You may find laying the child on the floor easier for access and viewing the mouth of a young uncooperative child. Be consistent and build a routine and eventually your child will be more cooperative. It is recommended parents always finish brushing until the child reaches age 6 or 7. Many children still may require indirect supervision even into adolescence.

“The information on this site is provided for educational or informative purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, recommendations or treatment”.

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