Infant Oral Care
Oral health care for mini mouths.
It’s our goal at Children’s Dental ranch to offer unparalleled dental care to children and families in New Braunfels, TX and the surrounding areas.
Oral Care During Pregnancy & Parenthood
Believe it or not, optimal newborn health begins before the baby is even born. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all pregnant women receive oral healthcare and counseling during pregnancy. Research has shown evidence that periodontal disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. Talk to your doctor or dentist about ways you can prevent periodontal disease during pregnancy.
Additionally, parents — especially mothers — with poor oral health may be at a greater risk of passing cavity-causing bacteria to their young children. All parents should follow these simple steps to decrease the risk of spreading these bacteria:
- Visit your dentist for regular cleanings.
- Brush and floss on a daily basis to reduce bacterial plaque.
- Proper diet, with the reduction of beverages and foods high in sugar & starch.
- Use a fluoridated toothpaste recommended by the ADA and rinse every night with an alcohol-free, over-the-counter mouth rinse with .05 % sodium fluoride in order to reduce plaque levels.
- Don’t share utensils, cups, or food that can cause the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your children.
- Use of xylitol chewing gum (4 pieces per day by the parent) can decrease a child’s cavities rate.
When Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth?
Teething is the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth. In general, the first baby teeth to appear are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and they usually begin erupting between the age of six to nine months. However, all babies are different, so it isn’t unusual if your child’s teeth begin erupting before or after this time.
If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s teeth, you may refer to “Eruption of Your Child’s Teeth” on our Pediatric Dentistry FAQs page or contact us during normal business hours.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Cavities)
One serious form of dental decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice, and other sweetened drinks.
Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquid pools around the child’s teeth giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If your child won’t fall asleep without the bottle and his/her usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle’s contents with water over a period of two to three weeks.
After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove any sugars, milk, or residual food. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the child’s head in your lap, or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor. Whatever position you use, be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.