Your Baby’s Oral Health – The Beginning Stages

By : Sue Ellen, Umali-Lee

Being a parent is one the most rewarding experiences in someone’s life. As rewarding as it can be, it also comes with its own set of challenges. As your Mississauga Dentist we would like to provide you with ways to encourage a positive dental future for yourself and your child.

Like with any behavior, routine plays a key role. Getting your infant used to having their mouth cleaned will make it easier to transition to using a toothbrush down the road. After each feeding, take a slightly damp baby cloth and clean the inside of your baby’s mouth. At around 6 months when your baby’s first tooth or teeth grow in, you can begin using a finger brush or baby brush to clean baby’s teeth. Did you know that breast milk contains sugar in the form of lactose? And that baby formula also contains this and others as well? Most parents begin feeding solids to their babies at 6 months of age paralleling the growth of the first baby teeth so when solids begin, it is again very important to establish good oral care routines.

At this stage, no toothpaste is required. If you decide to use toothpaste, it is best to select one without any fluoride. Since toddlers usually cannot spit until the age of 2 or 3 they end up swallowing most of the toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste can cause stomach upset when combined with stomach acids so it is best to avoid fluoride until they are able to spit well. When using toothpaste, only a small amount is required; about the size of half of a pea. At this stage, no toothpaste is required. If you decide to use toothpaste, it is best to select one without any fluoride. Since toddlers usually cannot spit until the age of 2 or 3 they end up swallowing most of the toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste can cause stomach upset when combined with stomach acids so it is best to avoid fluoride until they are able to spit well. When using toothpaste, only a small amount is required; about the size of half of a pea.

It is recommended by the American Paediatric Dental Association that infants have their first visit to the dental office between 6 months to around their first birthday. At this appointment our dental team will ensure that your baby’s teeth are growing as expected, determine if modifications to the homecare routine are required and evaluate the structures of the mouth, head and neck. Tongue ties and lip ties are common concerns which are best treated early in infancy. This can affect an infant’s ability to eat properly and eventually speak properly among other concerns. Sleep apnea in infants is another concern which will be evaluated during this assessment to ensure there are minimal risks for any type of obstruction. Tips on how to alleviate discomfort during teething will also be discussed. Click here for teething tips: please link to Sam’s Blog on Allieviating teething discomfort - https://creditriverdental.com/benzocaine-not-for-teething-pain/

Baby Bottle Syndrome

It is still common practice to put infants and toddlers to sleep with a bottle containing milk or sometimes even juice. We know that the development of cavity or decay is highly related to the length of time teeth are exposed to sugars. Whether it is sugar from formula, milk or juice, children should not be put to bed with any sugared drink in their bottles as this tends to result in Baby Bottle Cavities of the front teeth. If need be, water would be best to prevent this.

As your Mississauga dental team we strive to provide our community and our patients with information that can help improve your quality of life. Good routines give your family a great start. For any questions, concerns or tips on your child’s oral health, don’t hesistate to call a member of our team at 905-278-4297. Your family’s oral health is our top priority!