Protect The Precious:
Your Baby's First Year
Many people assume that children develop dental disease at the age of 4 to 6 years. The
When does the decay process start? It is logical to assume that it takes some time before the actual evidence of decay. When your baby is born the mouth is essentially sterile. So the process that leads to decay starts shortly after birth.
Yet, who gives any consideration to the decay process at this point? Until now, nobody! That's the reason for this article which you now have in front of you - because this article tells you how to stop the decay process before it starts!
The most critical year regarding dental health in a lifetime is the first year- birth to age one. It is the year that the decay-producing bacteria develop and grow to large numbers in the mouth (Many thousands per milliliter of saliva).
Methods to keep the dental disease process from beginning in the first year of life.
A. 1. Be sure to feed baby a balanced diet - restricting the amounts of sugar.
Mothers should pay close attention to your baby's diet. To build healthy, strong bodies we must provide the proper nutrition. A very young baby's needs are simple - milk is the basis of his diet.
An important point we'd like to make here is to limit the amount of sugar in your baby's diet. Remember, we help create a taste for sweets at a very young age. There is a tremendous amount of sugar in processed foods and many prepared formulas have excess sugar. Statistics show that the average American consumes 120 pounds of sugar a year. The American pioneer consumed only 10 pounds per year - that's an increase of 1200%! (This figure has increased 28% since this article was originally written.)
2. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle.
A common error that mothers often make is to put baby to bed with a bottle. The child falls asleep quietly with a mouth coated with milk, juice or some sweetened liquid. This alters the ecology of the mouth in such a way that it begins to develop higher and higher levels of bacteria that thrive on sugar. If this practice continues it can lead to high levels of decay-producing bacteria by the time the teeth appear. Therefore these teeth become exposed to a hostile environment that was developed the first year or two of life which in most cases leads to decay in these first precious teeth.
B. Another more critical factor is KEEPING THE MOUTH CLEAN even before teeth arrive.
1. Swab out your baby's mouth with a 2" x 2" gauze square (purchased at any drug store) every day after meals and before bed.
2. Once the teeth arrive, continue to wipe out the mouth with a gauze square. Now, these teeth should be brushed with a small soft-bristled brush. Continue to clean baby's mouth with a soft brush after meals and before bed.
Here lies an extremely important key to keeping baby's mouth healthy.
3. Purchase Oral-B Satin Tape at any drug store (click image for details).
A way that we have found successful is to sit on a couch or floor with your baby's head in your lap and a light from a table lamp shining over one shoulder. Starting from the farthest tooth on one side work the Satin Tape between teeth and using a back and forth motion, like you were polishing shoes, clean each of baby's teeth.
Oral-B Satin Tape is a wonderful product for cleaning between the teeth at any age. It is wide, ribbon-like and is less likely to cut into the gums like ‘string’ floss.
4. Visit the dentist by the age of one year.
Find a dentist who is extremely interested in preventing dental disease and take your baby for his or her first checkup by the age of one year.
If you would devote just five minutes a day to keeping your child's mouth clean you will be giving that child a most valuable asset - a healthy mouth.
OUTLINE OF IMPORTANT STEPS
1. Feed your baby a balanced and appropriate diet - restricting sweets.
2. Avoid putting baby to bed with a bottle.
3. Clean baby's mouth with a gauze square each day-after meals and before bed.
4. As teeth appear, clean teeth with a soft tooth brush before bedtime each day.
5. Use Oral-B Satin Tape daily.
Next Article: The Trying Years: Ages 1 - 4
Article: The Transition Years: 4 - Adult
Article: Saving Orthodontic Dollars
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