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Caring For Baby Teeth

Posted on May 31, 2022 | Hot Topics

Caring For Baby Teeth

A toothless baby smile is cute, but just wait until their first few teeth make an appearance!

A baby’s twenty primary teeth are already present in the jaw at birth. They typically begin to appear when a baby is between six months and a year old. Most children have a full set of twenty primary teeth by the time they turn three. Every child is different, but usually the first teeth to come in are located in the tip and bottom front of their mouth. 

When teeth are first coming in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. You can help soothe this by gently rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon, or a wet rag. You can also provide your baby with a clean teething ring to chew on. If your baby is still cranky and in pain, try reaching out to the dentist or physician. 

Why Baby Teeth Matter

Baby teeth are very important to your child’s health and development. They help your baby chew, speak, and smile. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth that are growing beneath the gums. A baby tooth lost too early can allow for a permanent tooth to drift into the empty space and make it difficult for the other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can cause crooked or crowded teeth later on. That’s why starting off your infant with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come. 

When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist? 

This should happen after the first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday. The dental visit at this early age is a “well-baby checkup” for their teeth. Apart from just checking for cavities and other dental problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to handle habits like thumb sucking. 

How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

It is very important to care for your infant’s teeth from the start. Here is what you should do:

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, they are at risk for decay. A baby’s front four teeth usually push their way through the gums at about six months, although some babies don’t have their first tooth until twelve to fourteen months. 
  • For children under three years old, brush their teeth as soon as they begin to emerge in the mouth by using a fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. You want to brush the teeth thoroughly two times per day. Make sure to supervise a child’s brushing to ensure they use the correct amount of toothpaste. 
  • For children three to six years of age, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used to brush teeth thoroughly twice per day. Make sure to supervise your child’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste. 
  • Until you feel comfortable that your child can brush their own teeth, continue to brush your child’s teeth with a child size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Once your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin cleaning between their teeth daily.

 

 

 

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