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You take every possible measure to safeguard your toddler, from installing that intricate car seat and choosing the right sunscreen for delicate skin to spending weeks childproofing your home. The effort you put into protecting your child is invaluable because the rewards are significant. Another daily precaution that yields great benefits is safeguarding your toddler against tooth decay.

Initiate Early The commencement of your baby’s dental care begins even before the arrival of the first tooth. Gently wiping the gums with a clean, damp cloth after feeding not only introduces your child to the idea of brushing but also eliminates bacteria that could irritate the gums as teeth start to emerge. Once those teeth appear, gentle brushing with soft bristles will prevent bacteria and plaque from causing tooth decay and gingivitis. We can recommend toothpaste specially formulated for toddlers and provide guidance on the best brushing practices.

Watch the Menu It’s well-established that sugary foods aren’t healthy for your toddler’s teeth, as the bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar. A diet rich in sugar results in increased bacteria and plaque, leading to cavities. However, it’s not just sugar that poses a threat. Foods like citrus fruits and juices can also be problematic. Acidic foods weaken enamel after consumption, leaving teeth more susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria and plaque. We offer suggestions for tooth-healthy snacks and recommend the optimal times for brushing after indulging in treats.

Avoid Misusing Bottles & Sippy Cups If your toddler still uses a bottle at night or a sippy cup during the day, it’s essential to be mindful of their contents. Juices and even milk contain sugar that heightens the risk of cavities. If your child falls asleep with a bottle or cup, these liquids accumulate in the mouth overnight, creating an environment conducive to bacterial growth. If your toddler desires a drink at night or between meals, water is a much healthier option.

These tiny teeth play a crucial role in biting and chewing efficiently, forming sounds for proper speech development, and preserving space for adult teeth to erupt correctly. Dr. Sindledecker and Dr. Saltz, along with our team, recommend that your child visit our Boca Raton office after the first tooth emerges and certainly by the first birthday. We’ll ensure your toddler’s teeth are developing as they should and offer guidance to keep them cavity-free. Safeguarding your toddler’s healthy, beautiful smile is a reward well worth the effort!

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