Milestones for 0-2 Year Olds
- Age 1 is the ideal age for a child’s first dental visit. For many kids this first visit will be “well-child” checkup, but even some one-year old’s have cavities, so it’s best to start early.
- Most babies are born without teeth, but the mouth still needs to stay clean! Gently wipe down your baby's gums after feedings.
- Avoid passing cavity-causing germs and other unhealthy germs by limiting behaviors where saliva is shared. This includes the sharing of utensils or cups with your baby.
- Teething usually starts around 6 months and continues until 2-3 years old. There are many ways to help soothe a teething child, but for your child’s safety it is best to avoid teething gels like Oragel, Oragel natural, and Hylands teething tablets.
- Brush with a small “smear” of fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the teeth erupt into the mouth. This is equivalent to a rice-grain amount of toothpaste. Not Much! Once your child learns to spit out the toothpaste you can increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount. Always keep toothpaste out of reach of children.
- It is best to establish set feeding times for your baby or young child, and to avoid at-will feeding or sipping habits. Babies with too much access to sugary liquids (including milk and juice), or those who are put to sleep with a bottle, can develop cavities very rapidly! Also, beware of the sugar in children’s medications and clean the teeth after giving them the medicine.
- Once children get teeth and learn to walk, they are especially prone to dental accidents.
- Be sure to protect your baby’s teeth by placing barriers on sharp corners and hard surfaces such as brick fireplaces, coffee tables, and hard surfaces in bathtubs (i.e. faucets/sides of tub).
- Try to get your child to break any oral habits (Finger Sucking, Pacifier, Thumb Sucking, etc.) by age 3 if possible.
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