Newborn sleep and dental health
At TLC for Smiles, we want to support you in your new role as a parent. Keeping your boby's mouth healthy will help them avoid dental associated sleep trouble and benefit them for the rest of their life.
Tips to help your baby sleep
All babies are different, and you know your infant best. Here are a few tips for improving your baby's ability to sleep that you can try at home:
Feed on demand for the first several months. Your baby should want to eat every 1.5-3 hours, and will gradually increase times between feedings as they get older. They may feed even more (cluster feeding) if they are sick or teething.
Allow your baby to fall asleep on their own sometimes. This doesn't mean you have to let them cry. An easy way to do this is to hold them until they are very sleepy and then lay them in their crib. Often a baby will fall asleep on their own this way as long as their tummy is full.
Swaddle your baby. Babies who recently came out of the womb love to feel snug. You can buy a swaddle blanket or just wrap them up carefully in a baby blanket. Ask your pediatrician to show you how to swaddle safely. There shouldn't be any loose fabric over your baby's face.
When should I bring my baby in for their first appointment?
We would love to meet your baby at around 3 months old. At this time, we can gently examine their mouth for any infections or abnormalities. We will also do a cotton swab of their mouth and yours to test for cavity-causing germs. If we find any, we will help teach you how to combat these germs so that you and your baby have the best chance of being cavity-free.
If you aren't able to bring your infant in at 3 months, that's okay. Bring them in the earliest you can and we are happy to help them form good dental habits and treat any existing problems.
We are a breastfeeding-friendly clinic. Many of our patients have nursed their children until 3 years of age or older. We work with you to ensure good dental health and hygiene throughout the breastfeeding journey.
Good oral hygiene starts when the first tooth erupts. Getting your baby used to having their teeth brushed is important and starts them out with good dental habits. Other ways to reduce the risk of cavities are: coming in for regular dental appointments and cleanings, using dentist-recommended toothpaste and fluoride products, and wiping the teeth clean after bottle or breastfeeding at night.
It is recommended that children only drink 4 ounces of juice each day. Sodas and other sugary beverages are best avoided. Water, milk, and a small amount of juice should be the only thing children are offered to drink.