Healthy teeth are important—even baby teeth. Children need healthy teeth to help them chew and to speak clearly. And baby teeth hold space for adult teeth. This
booklet can help you keep your baby’s mouth healthy and give him a healthy start!
Rupa talks with Sana
Rupa and her friend Sana were watching Sana’s children play.
“What are you doing?” asked Rupa.
“I’m cleaning my baby’s teeth,” said Sana.
“But your baby hardly has any teeth!” said Rupa.
“Yes, but the dentist said there are things I can do to keep my baby from getting cavities,” said Sana.
“But don’t baby teeth just fall out?” asked Rupa.
“Yes, but before they fall out baby teeth can decay and cause pain for the baby. And baby teeth are important—they hold space for adult teeth,” said Sana.
“What else did the dentist say?” asked Rupa.
“She told me that fluoride protects teeth. She also said to feed my baby healthy foods and not to put my baby to bed with a bottle,” said Sana.
“When do you have to start taking care of a baby’s teeth?” asked Rupa.
“As soon as they come in. Teeth can start to decay as soon as they appear in the mouth,” said Sana.
“I’ll have to start thinking of those things soon!” said Rupa.
Milk, formula, juice, and other drinks such as soda all have sugar in them. If sugary liquids stay on your baby’s teeth too long, it can lead to tooth decay. (And decayed teeth can cause pain for your baby.)
What’s one of the most important things you can do to keep your baby from getting cavities?
Avoid putting him to bed with a bottle—at night or at nap time.
(If you do put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it only with water.)
Here are some other things you can do:
Between feedings, don’t give your baby a bottle or sippy cup filled
with sweet drinks to carry around.
Near his first birthday, teach your child to drink from an open cup.
If your baby uses a pacifier, don’t dip it in anything sweet like sugar