A healthy smile is a journey for life! As children grow up and adopt healthy smiles, we can see, and celebrate, these moments called smile stones. Starting with healthy habits at home, even your child’s changing smile and healthy dental care, smile stones help highlight specific moments you need to consider as your child’s teeth grow. Think of it as a checklist to remind you of all the healthy habits that guide your little ones on the way to bright smiles when they are adults.
We give each of these Smile stones the opportunity to be the featured message and offer useful suggestions on how to handle each new step in a healthy and loving way. Keep track of each of these moments, learn how to help and have fun while doing it!
It all starts here: the first Smile stone.
Long before your little one has teeth, they have a toothless smile. Most babies start teething around 6 months. While toothless smiles do not last long, they can be some of the best moments when they learn to smile.
When your baby has a toothless smile, it’s the perfect time to start taking care of your baby’s gums as it will take care of your teeth. Keeping the gums healthy is very simple.
Here are some suggestions that will help you create a lifetime of healthy smiles for your child, right from the start.
Clean gums are happy gums
Even though your baby does not have the first teeth yet, keeping the mouth and gums clean is still very important. Bacteria can appear after breastfeeding, bottle feeding and solid foods and remain in the gums. This can lead to early gum problems and tooth decay later on. Use a washcloth or piece of gauze dipped in clean water to gently clean the gums after each meal.
Sweet without sugar
Speaking of clean gums at mealtime, if there is one thing that bacteria enjoy, it is sugar. Flavored milk, fruit juices and soft drinks are full of added sugar. Sugar allows the bacteria to grow. Protect those toothless smiles by eliminating these sweet drinks. This also applies to sweet foods, when your baby is ready. Instead, use healthy alternatives to the gums!
The perfect dentist
In the stage of toothless smiles, it would seem too early to think about a pediatric dentist, but it is not. The process of finding a dentist for your child may take some time. Starting before your baby’s teething will give you the opportunity to seek and find the best care possible without having to hurry.
Smile early, always smile
And of course, smiling and laughing are healthy activities. This is the best and the first step in a life of smiles and laughter, with or without teeth. Try using funny voices and faces, tickling and different noises so your baby has a big smile. Once they begin to smile, they may never stop.