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The Little Teeth, Eyes and Ears

Start in Pregnancy:  Taking a balanced diet and pre-natal vitamins and minerals during pregnancy can help your baby develop strong teeth later on.

Your baby’s first teeth will develop at 6-12 months. Babies usually develop their bottom front teeth first. By the time they are around 3 years most toddlers have 20 milk teeth.

Reduce breast or bottle-feeding frequency at night. Residual sugar can collect overnight on your baby’s gums and contribute to tooth decay.

After breast/bottle feeding your baby wipe his/her gums with a piece of cotton or a clean soft cloth dabbed in warm water, to remove traces of sugar and prevent tooth decay.

Avoid giving your child sugary foods, especially sticky toffees and chocolates. These can cause tooth decay. Offer fruits and healthy snacks instead.

Encourage regular brushing, at least twice a day, with a soft-bristled tooth brush.

Do not use more than a small pea-sized amount of mild toothpaste.  Make sure your baby doesn’t swallow toothpaste- especially if using toothpaste with fluoride.

Ears: Did you know that babies can hear your voice even while in your womb?  During the first three months after birth your baby’s hearing will gradually become sharper.  Babies tend to prefer high-frequency tones, which is why they may respond better to singing voices.

If your baby doesn’t show any response to loud noises, doesn’t respond    to your voice, doesn’t turn towards sounds, doesn’t babble by around 7 months, and doesn’t say even a few simple words by 12 months, he/she may have a hearing impairment. Talk to you pediatrician about it.

If your child has fever, headache, irritability, nausea, pulls at the ear, or has any discharge from the ear, see your doctor as your baby may have an ear infection.

Protect your child from loud noises such as loud radio or TV or even loud toys and music. This could damage your child’s hearing.

Never poke swabs inside your child’s ear to remove wax, as this could push wax deeper into the ear. Gently wipe behind your baby’s ears and around the outside of each ear with moist cotton balls instead.

Eyes: During bath-time, gently clean your baby’s eyes in the following manner:  wash hands thoroughly and gently wipe each eye with a moist sterile cotton ball, from inside to outside of the eye. Use a different cotton ball for each eye to prevent any cross-infection.

Get your child’s hearing and vision checked at least every once every 2 years throughout childhood.

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