As a parent, you want your child to maintain healthy teeth and gums and for them to avoid cavities if at all possible. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent cavities, and many of them involve getting started when your child is relatively young.
- Only put formula, breast milk, or water in your baby’s bottle. Never put soda, juice, or any other type of sweetened drink in it. If you give your infant or toddler a bottle when they go to bed, make sure it only has water in it.
- To prevent cavities, do not dip your child’s pacifier in anything sweet, such as honey or sugar. If your child’s pacifier ever falls on the ground, avoid “cleaning” it with your own mouth to prevent the transmission of cavity-causing germs from you to your child.
- Between meals, give your child healthy snacks, like cheese, fruit, yogurt, vegetables, and peanut butter. When you do give your child sweets, limit them in terms of frequency and portion size.
- When your child is an infant, wipe the inside of their mouth and gums with a clean, warm cloth on a daily basis. This will prepare them to use a toothbrush and prevent buildup on their gums.
- Once your child’s first tooth appears, brush it with a gentle, age-appropriate toothbrush with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste. When your child gets to be a toddler, you can increase the amount of toothpaste used, but it is still a good idea to help them brush their teeth.