So many parents are aware of infant “milestones”, well-child visits and immunization schedules – but good oral habits are an important part of a child’s healthcare and development as well.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule a consultation with a pediatric dentist before their child reaches the age of one – but healthy habits begin long before then.
Beginning at birth, parents can clean a child’s gums with a soft cloth and water. After the first tooth erupts (typically around six months), a soft infant toothbrush can be introduced to clean the tooth and gums.
Wiping a child’s mouth with a soft cloth after a bottle can help keep the gums and newly erupting teeth clean. Sugary drinks, juices, and putting a child to bed with a bottle should be avoided, as well as even using a bottle after a child is 12-14 months old. These few simple steps to a child’s daily routine can help her develop a lifetime of good habits and healthy smiles.