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Caring For Your Child’s Teeth

Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding things you will do… also one of the most overwhelming. Daily dental care can be easily overlooked. But a few basic routines started early can save big problems in the future.

Hygiene

  • Brush your child’s teeth daily as soon as they start to grow in. We all know this can be a struggle, but just like any hygiene routine, it is a struggle you must win!
  • Your child may cry, but brushing with a soft toothbrush doesn’t hurt. We promise!
  • Try sitting on a bed or sofa and and cradling your child’s head in your lap. That way you have better vision and control. Sing a song- ABC’s for the top and Twinkle Twinkle for the bottom. Soon your child will come to understand how long the brushing will last, and it just makes brushing a happier event.
  • No need to worry about technique at this point, that comes later in life. At this age we call it the “scrub-brush technique”… do what you can while you can. Also, no need to worry about toothpaste, water works fine. In fact, some babies and toddlers are very taste and texture sensitive and even “toddler toothpaste” can make things more difficult.
  • We can advise on how to introduce toothpaste and dental floss at your child’s first visit around age 1.

Diet

  • Never let your child go to bed with anything in a bottle or sippy cup except water.
  • Breastfeeding is great for your child but nursing all night can cause cavities just like a bottle of formula can. Try to breastfeed on a schedule… even at night.
  • Use a clean washcloth to wipe formula or breast milk out of your baby’s mouth before putting the child to (or back to) bed.
  • Sticky sweet things (fruit snacks, chewy candy, lollipops, dried fruit, etc.)are more likely to cause cavities than foods that leave the mouth quickly (ice cream, yogurt, fruit popsicles). Think “How long will this sweet snack stay in my child’s mouth?”

Visit Your Dentist

  • Come see us any time if you have dental trauma, questions, concerns… or at least by age 1.

 

 

 

BOHP  American Board of Pediatric Dentistry UNC School of Dentistry NCAPD AAPD
Chapel Hill Pediatric Dentistry
205 Sage Rd., Suite # 202
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 929.0489


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