Did you know the cavity prevention starts before a baby has cut its first tooth? A baby’s 20 primary teeth are present before birth. These “baby teeth” begin appearing around 6 months of age and help set the stage for future smiles by keeping space in the jaw for adult teeth. When a baby tooth is lost too early, permanent teeth can drift into the empty spaces and make it difficult for adult teeth to find room. This can cause teeth to come in crowded and crooked.
Good oral hygiene begins a few days after a baby is born. Simply wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad. Once baby teeth emerge through the gums, brush gently with a child-sized toothbrush and water. Babies should finish drinking from a bottle before the baby is put down to sleep. Avoid putting sugary beverages in a baby bottle.
Infants and toddlers suffer from baby bottle tooth decay when a bacteria feeds on sugar from juice and milk rots their teeth. This can also happen when a child drinks these liquids from sippy cups. Sugar on baby’s teeth causes plaque, which leads to cavities.