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Protecting Baby Teeth

Protecting Baby Teeth

Baby teeth generally first make their appearance between five and seven months and are expected to stay around to do their job for six years or more. Many babies still use a bottle for quite a few months following the appearance of those first teeth. Here are some easy to follow tips that will help protect your baby’s teeth while they are still using a bottle.

1. Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle. Breastmilk, formula or juice will pool around your baby’s teeth, providing a great breeding ground for cavities. If your baby insists upon a bedtime bottle, only fill it with water.

2. Clean baby’s teeth after feedings using a soft child’s toothbrush. Most toothpastes contain concentrations of fluoride that are excessive for young children, which, if swallowed, may negatively affect tooth development. Instead, just use water or baking soda until your child is 2 years old. After your child reaches 2, use a natural toothpaste void of saccharin, dyes, preservatives and artificial flavors, all of which are common in most commercial brands.

3. Don’t fill bottles with juice. By the time your child is ready for juice, he or she should be ready to learn how to use a cup.

4. Some time between 12 and 18 months, begin regular dental checkups. If your child is having enamel problems, some dentists will recommend putting a plastic dental sealant on baby teeth. Some of these sealants contain bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical that may leach into your child’s mouth. Children under 6 rarely get cavities. If your child needs a filling, try to avoid the common mercury amalgam fillings (the “silver” fillings). There is no conclusive evidence linking the minute leaching of mercury into the mouth with cognitive function. However, high levels of mercury exposure can cause learning disabilities, tremors, memory loss, dementia and damage to the central nervous system. Discuss the options, including costlier porcelain or gold fillings, with your dentist.

Read more: Family, Babies, , , , , ,

Adapted from Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet Guide to Natural Baby Care by Mindy Pennybacker and Aisha Ikramuddin (1999, Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet)

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

14 comments

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3:01AM PST on Nov 8, 2012

What a nice practice to protect your child's teeth against damage. Make sure to bring her/him to dental consultants at the age of 1.

4:34AM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

To know about protection of your baby teeth you should go to:- http://www.allsmileskidsdentistry.com

4:05AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

11:44AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

They forgot mention how important Xylitol is for childrens (and adults) teeth.

7:17AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

good guidance

2:50PM PST on Mar 10, 2012

Very informative post.

10:51AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Good information for parents to keep in mind. Thanks Annie!

12:15AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Very informative post.

12:11PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

Flouride is a poison. It calcifies or hardens the pineal gland and blinds "the third eye". Regetfully many municipalities add it to our water supplies- so now I do not drink tap water and avoid cooking with tap water as well as by toothpaste that does not contain flouride.
Check out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZZIj66CerA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYHLv44KqXw

1:32PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

None of this is new advice to me but it is all important. Keep those baby teeth healthy so the adult teeth have a good foundation.

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