Infant Oral Hygiene

As your child's first primary tooth emerges, it is important to begin a planned dental home care program. This program should include proper oral hygiene habits. Your infant is subject to dental decay as soon as the first of the primary teeth emerges from their gums. When your child is about one year to 18 months, it is necessary to be seen by a dentist.

Nursing Your Infant & Teething

It is important for your baby’s future dental health to establish correct nursing habits. Nursing helps in the development of your infant’s facial muscles and bones. Your infant may express a variety of signs and symptoms as their primary teeth emerge. Such symptoms include discomfort, irritability and crying. To ease the discomfort you can give your child cold, hard objects, such as a wet washcloth (frozen and rolled into a cylinder).

Infant Tooth Decay… “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay”

A daily program of oral hygiene is designed to prevent cavities at an early age. Starting at birth, you should gently clean your child’s gums with a gauze pad or wash cloth. At age 2 – 3 you should introduce a toothbrush with a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Remember that most small children do not have the motor skills to brush their teeth properly, which is generally at the time when they can tie their own shoes. Therefore, assistance should be provided until your child acquires this skill. The primary teeth are of major importance to the child’s appearance, chewing ability, and eventual health of their permanent teeth.

Tooth decay is a progressive disease that often begins in very young children. Decay is the result of the interaction between bacteria that are normally on our teeth and sugars in the every day diet. The sugar content is converted to acid which causes tooth decay.

A pattern of decay can evolve from prolonged nursing. When the infant feeds actively, he/she swallows and the flow of the saliva cleans the teeth. Once the nutritional needs are met, the child continues to nurse and the sucking becomes passive. The liquid then clings to the teeth, instead of being swallowed. This is the same reason a child should not be given a bottle filled with milk or juice at bedtime. Almost any liquid except water contains sugar which can be converted to acid and leads to decay.

Infant Oral Hygiene

It is important for your baby’s future dental health to establish correct nursing habits. Nursing helps in the development of your infant’s facial muscles and bones. Your infant may express a variety of signs and symptoms as their primary teeth emerge. Such symptoms include discomfort, irritability and crying. To ease the discomfort you can give your child cold, hard objects, such as a wet washcloth (frozen and rolled into a cylinder).

Infant Oral Hygiene

As your child's first primary tooth emerges, it is important to begin a planned dental home care program. This program should include proper oral hygiene habits. Your infant is subject to dental decay as soon as the first of the primary teeth emerges from their gums. When your child is about one year to 18 months, it is necessary to be seen by a dentist.