By the time your baby is born, 20 'baby' or primary teeth have already begun forming under the gums. The first teeth usually erupt in six months to a year and, unfortunately, tooth decay can begin as soon as eruption starts.
Here are some guidelines for you to follow:
- Don’t allow your baby to sleep with a bottle containing anything other than water (not even breast milk.)
- Don’t dip pacifiers in sugar or honey to make them more attractive (in fact, young children shouldn’t have honey at all!).
- Begin caring for your child’s teeth before they even erupt! Cleanse the gums after each feeding with a clean, moist gauze pad.
- Once your child’s first tooth erupts, use a toothbrush made for toddlers and water to gently brush.
- Schedule an appointment with the dentist for your child before their third birthday. In addition to discussing common concerns like thumb sucking, dentists can counsel you on optimizing your child’s nutrition for healthy dental development.