Baby's First Teeth
The Importance of Baby Teeth
While the baby teeth are only permanent, they still play many important roles in the mouth of your child.
Oral Care Before the Eruption of the First Teeth
Oral care begins well before the first baby teeth start to come in. Starting when your child is just a few weeks old, you can use a damp washcloth to wipe their gums gently. This removes lingering sugars and oral bacteria, which creates a healthier environment for the baby teeth to grow into.
When Do Baby Teeth Start Coming In?
Many parents look forward to the eruption of the first teeth. There is no exact time when this happens. Most children get their first teeth around the age of 6 months. Some children will get their first teeth earlier, while others may get them later.
Caring for Baby Teeth
Once the first teeth start coming in, it is time to start brushing. Get your child a toothbrush designed for infants and toddlers. These toothbrushes are smaller and are specifically designed for little mouths. Make sure that the toothbrush has soft bristles. Use a rice-sized amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste and brush their teeth at least twice a day. Flossing does not need to start until the teeth begin to touch one another, which happens between the ages of 2 and 6. In the beginning, you will need to perform the flossing for them.
Along with oral care at home, your child should also have regular dental visits. Your child should have their first visit 6 months following the eruption of their first teeth or by their first birthday, whichever occurs first. Your child should continue to have regular dental visits. During the first few visits, not much happens aside from us taking a quick glance inside the mouth of your child. These visits are designed to get your child acquainted with professional dental care, allowing them to become more comfortable with us and what we do.
In addition to dental care, there are other things that you can do help keep the first teeth healthy. One of the most important things you can do is not to let your child sleep with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice. The sugars in these beverages can lead to the development of cavities.
If you have any questions about the care of baby teeth, call Douglas L. Park, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry today at (503) 663-8141.