Good Oral Health in Children Starts in the Womb
Good oral health in children starts from the very beginning, before a baby is even born. The mother’s own oral hygiene and nutrition practices have a huge impact on a baby’s teeth, mouth and other oral-related structures.
Once the baby is born, the bacterial battle begins. Baby’s gums are no longer protected and are subject to plaque and inflammation due to bacteria. As baby grows and starts eating solid food and learning to do things by him/herself, good oral hygiene becomes even harder to maintain.
So what’s a mama to do?
It's too late to go back and improve things during pregnancy, but it’s never too late to start taking care and helping your child to take better care of his/her teeth.
Tips for Good Oral Health in Children From Birth to Teeth
Oral Health Tip #1 – Age: Birth +
Avoid giving your baby juices or other sugary drinks in a bottle, and NEVER put baby down to sleep with a bottle, not even with breast milk, as this will sit in the baby’s mouth while he/she is sleeping and bacteria can grow.
Pacifiers dipped in honey, corn syrup or sugar to help settle a baby also increase the chances of harmful bacterial growth around baby’s gums and teeth can actually start to decay before they “erupt” (come through the gum) if gums are inflamed enough.
Oral Health Tip #2 – Age: Birth +
Use water to rinse off a pacifier or spoon instead of putting it in your mouth. Even a simple temperature test on your lip before feeding your baby can pass along any dental bacteria from your mouth to your baby’s.
Oral Health Tip #3 – Age: Birth-4 months +
Wipe your baby’s gums after each meal with clean damp gauze or washcloth. It is important to keep gums clear of plaque and bits of food to keep them healthy and ready for teeth.
Oral Health Tip #4 – Age: 4 months +
Once teeth appear, brush them with a soft toothbrush and water or non-fluoride toothpaste.
Tips for Good Oral Health in Children From Teeth to Toddler to Grade 1