First visit by the first birthday
A child should visit the dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or by age 1.
Dental problems can begin early
Children risk severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously from the breast.
The earlier the dental visit, the better
Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, are better able to learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence.
Encourage children to drink from a cup by their 1st birthday
Children should be weened from the bottle at 12 to 14 months. If your child sleeps with a bottle it should only contain water. At-will breast feeding should be avoided after the first primary teeth appear. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided.
Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants
Most children stop thumb sucking by age 2, but if prolonged can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. Dentists can suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.
Never dip a pacifier into honey or anything sweet before giving it to a baby
Limit frequency of snacking, which can increase a child’s risk of developing cavities.
Children should use an appropriate size toothbrush
The toothbrush should have a small head brushing surface. When your child’s first tooth appears use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste, at about age 4 use a pea size drop.
Always supervise young children while brushing
Teach children to spit out rather than swallow toothpaste.
Children who primarily drink bottled water may not be getting the fluoride they need
Children from six months to age 3, may have sore gums
These can help: a clean teething ring, cool spoon, cold wet washcloth, chilled ring, rubbing the gums with a clean finger.
Parents and caregivers need to take care of their own teeth
Don’t clean pacifiers and eating utensils with your own mouth because your bacteria can be transmitted to the child.