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Dental Care for Babies and Toddlers

Baby Girl holding sippy cupDental care begins at home, before the first teeth erupt.
•  Wipe baby's gums with a soft, moist cloth after feedings.
•  As teeth begin to appear, gently wipe them, too.
•  At age 1, take baby to your dentist or physician for a first visual check of baby's teeth. A fluoride painting may be warranted.
•  At age 2, use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of children's toothpaste and brush your toddler's teeth daily.
•  Take your child to a first dental visit by age 3 for a cleaning and exam and to let them get to know each other.

Baby bottle cavities

This tooth decay begins around age 1 to 2, usually with the upper two teeth. Primary or baby teeth decay much faster than adult teeth. These cavities can quickly destroy the teeth if left untreated.

Prevent decay in baby teeth:

•  Do not add sugar or sweeteners to baby's bottles.
•  Do not put your baby to sleep or rock your baby with a bottle. It can be difficult to stop later.
•  After feedings, use a soft cloth or gauze to gently wipe away bacteria from your baby's gums, even before the first teeth erupt.
•  Brush your child's teeth or provide assistance until at least the age of 5.
•  Once your child can brush alone, continue to use only a pea-sized amount of children's fluoride toothpaste.
•  If you have well water, ask your pediatrician or dentist about fluoride drops.

Weaning toddlers from bedtime bottles:

•  Substitute plain water for milk at night.
•  If your baby refuses water: Add small amounts of water to the milk over time. Allow a few ounces of milk before bedtime followed by two ounces of water in a clean bottle to rinse the teeth.
•  Be firm and consistent.

How can I tell if my young child has cavities?

•  Sit knee-to-knee facing another adult. With your child facing one adult, tip your child back into your lap and look down into the mouth.
•  Wipe the saliva from the backs of teeth with a soft cloth or gauze.
•  Look for colored spots or holes, especially in the back of the upper front teeth.
•  Contact your dentist if you note any areas of concern.

Since baby teeth fall out anyway, why is dental care important?

•  Baby teeth help your child chew foods and develop proper speech.
•  Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth and support proper bone growth.
•  Decay can lead to infections in your toddler's mouth.
•  Early brushing and flossing habits support lifelong care and attention.

Contact our office at (425) 247-3629 if you have any questions about baby teeth care.

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Spektor Dental, 1545 116th Ave NE, Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98004, (425) 247-3629,, 6/28/2022, Page Keywords: dentist Bellevue WA,