Healthy Smiles Start Early! Tips for Your Baby and Toddler

It’s never too early to start helping your child establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. One of the most important things you can do for the smile of your little one is to give their teeth the right kind of care and attention – and your pediatric dentist can help!

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to bring their child to the dentist by the age of 1. Most parents miss this vital first step in setting their child up for smile success! The purpose of this visit is to get your child comfortable with the experience of the dentist, and to educate parents on important aspects of care for the teeth of little ones. At Sunshine Smiles, we offer a complimentary ‘Baby and Me Visit’ to children under the age of 2.

One of the most common things that we cover with parents of babies is avoiding ‘baby bottle decay.’ This common cause of childhood cavities occurs when babies or toddlers are put to bed with a bottle of milk or juice for comfort. This is an easy habit to fall into, but it can have major consequences for your child’s dental health!

Instead of a bottle, try these other bedtime comforters:

– Soothe your little one by holding or gently rocking.

– Sing a song or play music for your child to relax to.

– Provide a blanket or favorite plush toy.

– Establish a bedtime story routine to ease into sleepy mode.

– Gently rub your child’s back to promote relaxation.

We also recommend the following tips and tricks to help promote dental health from an early age:

– Teach your little one to drink from a cup by the age of 1.

– Never give your child a bottle with chocolate milk, soda, juice, or any other sugary liquid.

– Clean your baby’s gums and any erupted teeth with a clean washcloth or baby toothbrush before bed each day.

With these tips and help from your pediatric dentist, your child can know the happiness of having healthy teeth from an early age. Decay and cavities are preventable! Start healthy habits while your child is young and they’ll reap the benefits for decades to come.