Cavity-causing bacteria can be passed to your child through saliva. Though the babies may not have teeth growing out of the gums at the beginning, they are likely to develop cavities later if the bacteria reside in their mouth.
Continue caring of your own oral health is still very important.
- Continue with good oral hygiene practices at home. Brush at least twice a day and floss everyday.
- Use fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay.
- Regular dental check-ups and cleaning. Don’t leave cavities and periodontal (gum and bone) disease untreated.
- Avoid sharing toothbrushes or spoons with your baby.
Practicing good dental care early helps your baby eat and speak clearly. Poor oral hygiene and poor eating habits can increase the risk of developing cavities in early childhood, which may affect the underlying adult teeth.
- Practice good daily dental care on your baby by cleaning and checking the teeth and mouth everyday.
- Cleaning: Gently clean your baby's mouth using a soft baby toothbrush or wet face cloth. When baby teeth begin to erupt, use a toothbrush with a grain of rice size fluoride toothpaste. Brush your child's teeth twice a day, in the morning and especially at bedtime. Once your child turns 3 year old, brush your child’s teeth using a "pea-sized" amount of fluoride toothpaste on a soft child's toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste used in these amounts is considered safe and effective against tooth decay.
- Checking: Lift the lip to see along the gum line. Look for white or brown spots which may be early signs of tooth decay.
- Limit sugary foods such as juice, sticky foods, and sugary snacks.
- Introduce your baby to using a lidless cup with water between 6 and 9 months of age.
- Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. Rinse after meals and snacks.
- Visit your dentist within 6 months after your child's first tooth appears or when they are about 1 year old.