Even baby’s gummy grin needs care to stop her new teeth being blighted by decay. Follow our advice to prevent your baby getting cavities.
By the time your child is five, more than 30% of her classmates will have tooth decay which can be well advanced even by the age of three.
Early preventative care is the key to keeping your baby’s teeth cavity free. Around the age of 5 months old, before your baby’s first tooth emerges, wipe her gums with a clean wet cloth after every feeding to clean away any traces of milk.
Because the bacteria that causes cavities can be transmitted to babies’ mouths via the saliva of parents and siblings, you should avoid sharing utensils and cups with your baby and NEVER clean a dummy or pacifier with your mouth.
Once teeth start appearing, clean them regularly (twice a day) with a soft sterile brush and a tiny amount of toothpaste which is specially formulated for babies (adult toothpaste should not be used until they are three years old as they may swallow too much fluoride).
By the time children are around 18 months old, they are more interested in the toothbrush. It is worth giving them a toothbrush as soon as they become interested. By two years of age you can teach them how to brush with a toothbrush twice a day.
It's a good idea to get your child used to going to the dentist from an early age. Take her with you when you go for a checkup and ask your dentist to give her a checkup when she is a year old.
After that she should have a dental check up every six months
The same foods that make a healthy body will make healthy teeth. Once your baby starts on solids avoid offering food containing sugar such as sweets, juice drinks, fizzy drinks, sugary cereals, jams and cakes.
If you do allow your baby a sweet treat, clean her teeth afterwards to avoid the sugars staying on the tooth surface too long.
For a cavity to form you need a tooth, bacteria, sugar or other carbohydrates and time.
So never allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle of expressed breast milk, formula or juice in her mouth. And try to wean your baby from her bottle by her first birthday.