Helping a baby have healthy teeth and gums can be easy! Poor oral health can be devastating for children — untreated cavities can lead to problems with eating, speaking, learning and playing. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and a good time to reflect on ways parents and caregivers can help prevent cavities and other oral health issues from developing in young children.
Tips of Healthy Teeth and Gums
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend these tips for babies:- Wipe gums twice a day with a soft, clean cloth in the morning after the first feeding and right before bed to wipe away bacteria and sugars that can cause cavities.- When teeth come in, start brushing twice a day with a soft, small‑bristled toothbrush and plain water.- Visit the dentist by your baby’s first birthday to spot signs of problems early.- Talk to your dentist or doctor about putting fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.
Parents should consult with their doctor or dentist regarding the use of fluoride in toothpaste for children younger than 2, the CDC recommends.
Good dental health is also important for pregnant women. In addition to their own health, gum disease and cavities can affect their baby’s health. The CDC also recommends, “If you have nausea, rinse your mouth with 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water after you get sick. This helps wash stomach acid away and keep your tooth enamel safe.”
For more health and safety tips, check our our other posts here.