When your child’s first teeth erupt, it’s important to take steps to keep them clean right away to avoid the development of tooth decay. On top of any irritation and teething pain that your child goes through, the foods and drinks they’re ingesting can harm their teeth.
Here are a few signs of tooth decay you can look for:
- White spots or lines closer to the gums
- Darkening of the teeth
- Black spots
- Red and swollen gums
Red and swollen gums can also be very normal, because your child’s teeth are still erupting. If your child does eat something sweet, make it part of mealtime. Afterward, have them drink some water to wash away some of those sugars that stick around.
Milk, formula, and juice all contain sugars. It isn’t simply their exposure to these drinks, it’s actually more important to limit the frequency in which they drink them. Constantly exposing teeth to sugars throughout the day doesn’t give tooth enamel time to recover.
By keeping feeding to a designated hour, and not putting them to bed with a bottle, you are effectively limiting the spread of bacteria in your child’s mouth and allowing their teeth to strengthen themselves.
Your child will be more inclined to change their eating and drinking habits if you lead by example. Consider eating and brushing your teeth as a family to set positive oral health habits with your kids.
Getting your child to see a dentist at an early age also sets the precedent that their teeth are important and worth caring for.