The newsLINK Group - Cavity Prevention for Babies

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | Pediatric Dentistry Topics: Baby Oral Hygiene Title: Cavity Prevention for Babies Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: You might not realize it, but cavities are caused by bacteria that babies don’t have when they are born. If you ever had a cavity, then you have also had that bacteria passed on to you from someone else. And that someone else may have been your mother or some other adult caregiver. Editorial: Cavity Prevention for Babies 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Bacteria and Cavities You might not realize it, but cavities are caused by bacteria that babies don’t have when they are born. If you have ever had a cavity, then you have also had that bacteria passed on to you from someone else. And that someone else may have been your mother or some other adult caregiver. The way the bacteria get passed from one person to another is through saliva. Passing bacteria through saliva is easier to do than you realize. If you share a spoon, taste a food before giving the remainder to a baby, clean off a pacifier in your mouth instead of using water, or kiss the top of a baby’s head, you may have shared more than you intended. Nobody would want a baby to start the process of getting cavities just because of shared saliva. The following list of tips should help you as you safeguard your baby. Tips for Mothers You can reduce the number of unhealthy bacteria in your mouth by eating healthy foods. Use fluoride toothpaste when you brush your teeth. Try hard not to absent-mindedly share saliva. Don’t share spoons or toothbrushes with your children, don’t give your baby food that you’ve eaten from, and don’t blow on your child’s food. Clean your baby’s pacifier only with water. Go see a dentist if you notice that your gums are bleeding or if you suspect you have a cavity. Better yet, schedule regular checkups and make good oral care part of your daily routine —brushing, flossing, rinsing, and using mouthwash on a regular, and frequent, basis. Tips for a Baby’s Oral Care Wipe your baby’s gums every day. Use a soft, moist washcloth. When the first tooth erupts, clean it with a soft, small toothbrush and a little fluoride toothpaste. Use a tiny amount, about the size of a pea. Don’t give a baby juice until at least six months, and then limit the amount to between four and six ounces per day. Except at mealtime, the only thing that should go in a sippy cup is water. Don’t use milk or juice in a bottle or sippy cup to get your baby to sleep. Feed your children right. Limit unhealthy snacks (sweets and soda) and sticky foods; cheese, yogurt, fruit, and water are better choices. As your child’s teeth come in, brush them twice a day. Try for after breakfast and before bed, since the most important time to brush teeth is at night. Have your child spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it. The first dental visit should be no later than one year, and every six months after that. Pediatric dentists have additional training to help them work more successfully with babies and young children. A good pediatric dentist can help make early dental experiences much better than they would be otherwise. Watch for white spots on your child’s teeth; sometimes white spots indicate the beginnings of a cavity. Does your child need additional fluoride? Discuss this with your pediatric dentist. Sources: “How to Protect Your Baby’s Teeth from Cavities,” .pdf file emailed to me from Sophie. Word Count: 516 Copyscape Clear Date: 12.15.2014

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