Avoid Early Tooth Decay
There's no need for children to develop tooth decay during their early years, but many do. When gums and first teeth come in contact with sugary liquids (fruit juice, sodas, even milk and formula), problems can result.
Of course, young children do drink a lot during the day, and formula, milk and juice are all necessary to good health. It's when these liquids are in the mouth continually or during sleep that chances for decay are increased. To avoid early tooth decay:
- Substitute water for other drinks during the day. Save milk and juice for mealtimes.
- Clean gums with a wet washcloth, and begin brushing teeth as soon as they appear.
- Never put your child to bed with a bottle containing anything but fresh water.
- Watch the intake of solid sugars as well as liquid ones.
- Never dip a pacifier in anything but clean water.
- Wean children when they are ready for a cup, but not too soon, since sucking on a bottle can help facial muscles to develop properly.
With a little care and attention, you can give your infant a good start toward dental health for a lifetime.