Dr. Sue Hollinsworth

How can I help prevent tooth decay in my child?

When the child is very young,never put them down for bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water. Juice,milk, and formula all contain sugar. The liquid pools around the teeth while the child sleeps and causes decay.

After feeding a baby, the gums should be wiped with a clean,damp gauze pad or washcloth. When the teeth begin to erupt, then they can be brushed gently with a child's soft toothbrush and water only.As soon as the child can spit and not swallow(usually not before age 2), a toothpaste containig fluoride can then be used to brush their teeth.

Decay is caused by bacteria. That bacteria is often transmitted from the mother to the baby by tasting the baby's food to make sure it is not too hot before feeding it to the child. To help minimize this transfer, keep you own teeth and mouth as healthy as possible. Have your cavities and gum disease treated and have good oral hygiene.

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