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Taking Care of Baby’s Teeth
Bacteria, sugar or other carbohydrates remaining in the mouth for a long period will cause cavities – possibly even before the first tooth appears!
Research shows that more than 30 per cent of five-year-olds have tooth cavities – some often developing before the age of three.
- At around the age of 5 months – before the first tooth comes through – wipe baby’s gums with a wet sterile wipe after every feed to clean off traces of milk.
- At around 6 months the first tooth usually comes through – take your baby to a dentist soon afterwards, or certainly no later than baby’s first birthday. Then take him or her for a dental check up every six months. And don’t forget – even breastfed babies can get cavities.
- Do not let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of expressed breast milk, formula or juice – and try to wean baby from the bottle by 12 months of age. Sucking from a bottle containing anything other than water beyond the age of one is linked to higher risk of cavities. And never give baby a dummy dipped in honey, juice, etc.
- Never clean baby’s dummy in your mouth, and avoid sharing spoons, cups, etc. with your baby – bacteria that cause cavities could be transmitted to baby’s mouth.
- Once teeth start appearing clean them morning and night with a sterile, specially-designed soft brush. And use a tiny amount of specially-formulated toothpaste – adult toothpaste contains too much fluoride for a child of less than three years old.
- Give baby a toothbrush when he or she shows an interest – often around 18 months of age. At around two years old your child could learn how to brush morning and night.
- Healthy foods will make healthy teeth. Avoid any foods that contain sugar – sweets, juice drinks, fizzy drinks, sugary cereals, jams, cakes, etc. Limit real fruit juices to just 125-190ml (4-6fl.oz) every other day.
- After any ‘sweet treat’, clean baby’s teeth so the sugars do not remain on the tooth surface.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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