No More Bottle
Most doctors want parents to wean babies from the bottle around this time. At this age babies like to suck on bottle for comfort. They especially like a bottle at night. But sucking on a bottle overnight leaves sugars from the milk on your child’s teeth. This can cause tooth decay. Getting rid of the bottle is not easy.
Some parents slowly get rid of the bottle over three or four weeks.
- Day One: Eliminate the midday bottle.
- Five Days Later: Take away the evening bottle. Make sure you are doing something fun and baby is drinking from his cup so he hardly misses it. Make it a game.
- Five Days Later: Eliminate the morning bottle.
- Five Days Later: Eliminate the bedtime bottle. This will probably be the most difficult one.
Many babies find the bedtime bottle a hard habit to break. This is because the bottle and sucking go with falling asleep.
Let him cry for a short time and see if he can go to sleep on his own. It might take a few nights of crying for him to forget about his bottle. Try using a cuddly toy or blanket for comfort instead. Start a new routine. Rub his back and sing to him. Tell him a story.
Before you put baby to bed you should brush his teeth. This will make sure that he does not have food particles or bacteria on his teeth while he sleeps.
Your Baby’s Healthy Mouth and Teeth
It is important to start regular dental habits as your toddler’s teeth come in. Your baby is now eating many different kinds of foods that can cause tooth decay. The first dental exam should happen by his first birthday. He might also need a cleaning at his first visit. When you visit the dentist for the first time ask the dentist how often you should have your child’s teeth checked and cleaned.
- Take your baby to the dentist by his first birthday.
- Your can find out about fluoride. Your dentist will explain how this can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities and explain any risks in using fluoride. Fluoride can be taken as tablets, it can be in your water, or it can be applied as a varnish on your child’s teeth. The dentist will also suggest the best toothpaste to use at this age.
- Soda, sweet drinks, candy and other sweets can cause cavities that hurt.
- Snacks like cheese, yogurt, fruit and vegetables are better for your child’s teeth than clips, crackers or cereal.
- Adding an equal amount of water to fruit juice is recommended.
After your child eats sweets, chips, crackers or juice, you should brush or rinse her teeth with water.
The bacteria in your mouth could be spread to your children. You can chew sugar-free gum with Xylitol right after eating to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
Bacteria is a serious risk to your toddler’s teeth. It leads to tooth decay among other things. For example, never lick your child’s spoon and give it back to him. This can carry bacteria from your mouth to his. This can be the beginning of tooth problems for him. So it’s just a good idea to stay aware of what you’re doing. That way, it’s easier and healthier for you and your child.
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents