Our goal at Life Smiles, a Plymouth, MN Family DENTISTRY, is preventing disease in children and adults
Your child’s baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they first appear, which is typically around age six months. Tooth decay is a disease that begins with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother who has these bacteria in their mouth to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria are passed to the baby.
The good news is that tooth decay is almost completely preventable. You can help prevent tooth decay for your child by following the tips below:
- Lower the risk of the baby’s infection with decay-causing bacteria. This can be done two ways – by improving the oral health of the mother which reduces the number of bacteria in her mouth and by not sharing saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers and giving them to babies.
- After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth. This will remove plaque and bits of food that can harm erupting teeth. When your child’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and water. (Consult with your child’s dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before age two.)
- At Life Smiles, we educate our patients on healthy eating and prevention with fluoride and sealants.