There are 2 things that the general public, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to know very well about the health and well-being of their teeth; 1) babies can get cavities and 2) cavities are nearly 100% preventable if oral care is started from infancy.
Did you know that? Be honest. Chances are you didn’t. That doesn’t make you a bad person, just someone who unfortunately wasn’t informed about those facts from your health care provider.
The fact remains, however that babies are just as likely to get cavities as children and even adults, and for that reason alone oral hygiene should begin at birth. Also, cavities are preventable but only if treated early on. There’s a window of opportunity to protect your baby but if you wait until they’re older it might close. Starting their care early on ensures this won’t happen.
Another common misconception is that, since they’re going to fall out anyway, baby teeth ‘don’t matter’. The exact opposite is true however as baby teeth hold the space for the soon to come permanent teeth. If lost too early this can affect the development of the permanent teeth and can alter your baby’s ability to speak and chew. That’s a lot of responsibility for the baby teeth, wouldn’t you agree?
Most experts will tell you that the first visit to the Dentist should be between 6 months and a year. This will give your Dentist the opportunity to do a number of things that will help baby’s baby teeth and ensure that they get strong, healthy permanent teeth. Your Dentist can advise you on all aspects of your infant’s oral health and what to do at home to take care of baby’s teeth.
He can also tell you what not to do, including giving babies a Sippy cup at night containing milk or juice when they go to bed. This one habit alone can be very detrimental to a child’s oral health. Another god tip is to rub baby’s gums with a clean, moist washcloth after every meal once their baby teeth have come in. This will keep bacteria levels much lower, but be sure to use a clean towel every time.
Like I said, your Dentist is a fountain of information and well versed in infant oral hygiene. Get your baby regular check-ups, always be vigilant about brushing once they can start, and get them started early. When they’re older and they have beautiful teeth they’ll thank you for it I guarantee. If you have any questions or comments please visit our website, email or call me at (301) 989-0088.
Dr. Aaron Nicholas