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The Importance of Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are extremely important in the development of your child’s oral and overall health. The presence of these baby teeth are what allow babies to begin eating solid food, speaking and having full control of their face and jaw muscles.

Signs and Symptoms of Teething

If you’re already a parent, then you surely know how irritable a baby can be when they begin teething. There are usually a few signs and symptoms of teething – some are normal, but you also should look out for certain symptoms.

What’s normal:

  • Fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive drooling

What isn’t normal:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

You may think that putting your baby down with a bottle is a good idea because it soothes them to sleep, but actually that could be damaging their teeth and causing tooth decay. This special type of decay is referred to as baby bottle tooth decay, and it’s an extremely easy-to-avoid dental health issue. To prevent baby bottle tooth decay:

  • Wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth after every feeding.
  • When their baby teeth come in, gently brush them with a child’s toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste until they turn 3.
  • Between the ages of 3 and 6, brush their teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Don’t fill their bottle with anything except formula, milk, breast milk or water.
  • They should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles before going to bed.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.

Baby Teeth and Breastfeeding

Many parents debate between breastfeeding and formula, and ultimately there isn’t a huge difference for your child’s health. However, there are a few baby dental health benefits of breastfeeding.

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