As every future tooth fairy knows, those budding teeth that are causing your baby such torment will eventually break through. Keep them healthy, and they'll put in 5 or 6 years of service before making way for permanent pearly whites. Neglect them, and your child will later suffer the consequences. More and more toddlers are getting tooth decay, putting them at risk of losing their baby teeth too soon. Here from YOU: Raising Your Child, by RealAge experts Mehmet Oz, MD, and Michael Roizen, MD, baby-teeth cleaning do's and don'ts:
- Don't allow bottles in bed. Teeth that sit in pools of lactose (the natural sugar in milk) are at risk for decay.
- Don't fill the bottle with juice. It bathes the teeth in sugar. Never, ever put your child to bed with a bottle of juice. As soon as your child is old enough, offer whole fruit and encourage her to drink water.
- Do drink fluoridated tap water. Use