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Dental Care for Your Baby

Q. At what point should I take my children for their first dental visit?

When your child is around three years of age is when you should visit your dentist. Early examination and preventive care will guard your child’s dental health.

Q. Is there a way to prevent tooth decay from using a bottle or nursing?

When your child begins teething, nighttime breast-feeding should be avoided. Encourage your child to drink from a cup rather than a bottle.  Your child should only be drinking water at nighttime.  Drinking milk or juice before going to sleep will promote tooth decay.

Q. What is the appropriate age to stop bottle feeding your children?

When your child is between 12 and 14 months of age, they should be weaned from the bottle. This varies for children with special needs.

Q. When my children suck their fingers/thumb, should I worry?

Prolonged thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. Thumb sucking is normal for infants, and most stop on their own by age two. If your child continues, discourage thumb sucking after age four. Your  dentist will be glad to help your child with a prolonged thumb sucking habit.

Q. At what age should my children’s teeth be cleaned?

When your child is born, start cleaning your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water.  As teeth erupt begin brushing and flossing twice daily.  Do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age two, unless advised by your dentist.

Q. What can I do to help my children while teething?

Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon or cold wet washcloth. When your child is from six months to three years of age they may have sore gums with the growth of their teeth. Some parents think a chilled ring is best, or simply rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger.