Even before your baby’s teeth begun to erupt, you can start taking steps to make sure your little one has a beautiful smile. Temporary teeth, often referred to as “baby teeth,” are still very important to your child’s health and development. In addition to their usefulness, temporary teeth help make sure that the adult teeth come in correctly.
While most parents would never consider giving a child a bottle filled with a sugary liquid, they may not always be aware that even breast milk and formula contain sugars which can coat the baby’s teeth and gums, causing tooth decay. If your baby is already accustomed to taking a bottle to bed, start teaching her to accept only water in the bottle. Once your child is able to hold and drink from a sippy cup — usually by the first birthday — make sure that between-feedings cups only contain water, as well.
Immediately following meals and feedings, wipe your baby’s gums with a piece of damp gauze or a soft washcloth. After the child’s baby teeth have begun to erupt, you can brush them gently with a toddler-sized toothbrush and water.
These steps will help make sure that your baby’s temporary teeth serve him or her well, and will set the stage for life-long good oral hygiene.