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The Importance of Caring for Baby Teeth

Healthy teeth are critical to your baby's overall health. Dr. Jordan Harper and Dr. Ralf Zapata of Niceville Family Dental, located in Niceville, FL, are experts in pediatric dentistry and can assist in caring for your baby's teeth.

Why Do Parents Need to Care for Their Infant's Teeth?

Not only do teeth help your baby eat, but they also assist in forming sounds and words. In addition, baby teeth affect the way your baby's jaw grows. Poor oral care can lead to infection, disease, or misalignment.

How Do I Care For My Baby's Teeth?

As they begin to grow teeth, you will notice some drooling, and they will constantly want to chew on objects. 

This process, called teething, can lead to soreness, and the baby may be fussy, have trouble sleeping, or lose its appetite.

To help relieve teething discomfort, here are some things to you do:

  • Give your child a cold teething ring or washcloth to chew or suck on.
  • With a clean finger, rub your baby's gums.
  • Ask your doctor if teething gels or tablets are recommended. 

To help maintain good oral health, you will want to clean your baby's teeth and gums with a washcloth or gauze once a day after feedings. Once they develop teeth, you will clean their mouth and teeth twice a day. Then, when they are 1 to 2 years old, you will use a soft baby toothbrush and water to clean the teeth. A small dab of non-fluoride toothpaste is safe for your baby to swallow, so you can also use that with brushing. You will also want to floss between your baby's teeth. 

Using a Bottle or Sippy Cup

When using a bottle or sippy cup, there are certain precautions you will want to take to prevent tooth decay. Dr. Harper and Dr. Zapata, Niceville, FL, are experts in pediatric dentistry and can help you develop good oral habits starting at a young age. 

Things to consider include:

  • Do not leave the bottle in the crib or allow your baby to fall asleep with the bottle. The milk can collect inside the mouth leading to a build-up of bacteria and tooth decay.
  • Do not give your baby a sippy cup of juice or milk while in the crib. 
  • Stop giving your baby a bottle when they turn one year old. 
  • Do not let your baby walk around with a sippy cup unless it contains water only.
  • Juice and milk have a lot of sugar and should only be given sporadically to your baby. 
  • Only give your baby a pacifier when needed and try to stop it altogether when they are around two years old. 

Your baby should see a dentist for the first time around their first birthday. If you are ready to learn more, please call a pediatric dentistry practice you can trust by calling Dr. Harper and DR. Zapata at Niceville Family Dental, located in Niceville, FL, at (850) 729-1223.

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