One of the main concerns of parents is how to take care of babies’ first teeth. Taking care of your baby’s teeth and gums is essential to ensure good oral health their entire life, so it is never too early to start creating good oral habits.
According to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association, about 40% of children in the USA suffer from tooth decay so it is important to prevent cavities from a young age. You can start looking after your children’s oral health from your baby’s first tooth to avoid tooth decay.
When should your baby’s teeth start erupting?
There’s a wide window for when your baby’s first teeth should start appearing. Some of them develop really early and some of them quite late. Most babies’ first tooth appears at 6 months old, around the time when they start taking everything to their mouth. Other babies can start teething after their first year, and usually, they get all the baby teeth fast.
Babies use their mouths to discover the world around them as much as they use their hands and feet. Taking things to their mouth is very normal and could even help them with tooth eruption. You have to be careful because some things could hurt their gums, but you should not stop your baby from taking things to their mouth, just be cautious.
By the time children are around 3 years old, they should have a complete denture. When children are around 7 years old they will start shedding their baby teeth for their permanent teeth.
Although children are going to lose their first teeth you have to make sure they still take care of them. It is not only a really healthy habit, that way you prevent tooth decay and create the bases for really good dental hygiene.
How to deal with pain when baby teeth erupt?
Teething can be really uncomfortable for your baby. The baby’s teething pain usually starts a few weeks before the baby’s first tooth erupts. During this time the baby could have a fever and be irritable. If your child has some of these symptoms make sure to take them to a pediatrician to check if the reason behind is their first teeth. If this is the case you take your baby to a pediatric dentist for the first time.
When babies start teething it will feel really uncomfortable for them. A good solution to this is to give them something like a cold washcloth or a cold teether toy to get some pain relief. Another excellent technique is to massage your baby’s gums with clean hands.
How to take care of your baby’s teeth
Taking care of baby teeth is very important because they will allow your child to eat and talk properly and they are also the base to have healthy adult teeth.
As soon as your child starts teething you can brush their teeth twice a day with a special toothbrush or a washcloth. Gently wipe or brush your child’s teeth on a daily routine to ensure their dental health. This will also help them get comfortable when using a toothbrush. Cleaning your baby’s gums is also very important. It is not necessary to use toothpaste.
Toothbrushes for babies are usually made of silicone and you can put it on your finger. Your baby will enjoy having their baby tooth and gums cleaned, especially if they are teething, it will help them to soothe the pain.
Preventing dental caries is necessary from a young age. Some babies can develop a specific type of tooth decay called baby bottle tooth decay that affects the upper front teeth because of prolonged exposure to sugary drinks.
Sugar creates plaque which is an acid-sticky film made of harmful bacteria that has very bad effects on the teeth’ enamel. This is why your pediatrician and pediatric dentist don’t recommend using the baby bottle as a pacifier. You should also pay attention to the child’s diet, avoid all sweet drinks, always choose a sugar-free formula and clean your baby’s mouth after feedings and mealtimes.
How to take care of a child’s teeth?
After the child has got all their teeth at around the age of 3 and is able to eat most foods the dental health routine should start to change a little to suit the child’s needs until they get all their adult teeth.
The importance of brushing your young child’s teeth at least twice a day remains the same and will be essential for your kid’s entire life. You could use a special toothbrush for toddlers or swipe the teeth and gums with a clean washcloth. During early ages, you can use only water or use fluoride toothpaste to make them get used to it but be aware that a pea size will be more than enough to clean their little teeth.
By the time the child is around 7 years old, they should have a complete oral health routine, brushing twice a day and using dental floss a few times per week. Choose a manual toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid hurting the child’s gums. Don’t forget to clean the tongue and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.
To help your child brush their teeth you should place yourself behind them and brush in front of the mirror so the kid can learn how to do it. To make the oral routine more enjoyable you can buy fluoride toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash that is special for children.
Electric toothbrushes are great, but they are recommended for teenagers and adults; it is important to teach your kid how to brush properly with a manual brush.
To avoid cavities choose water over a sugary drink even if it is fruit juice, it is better to give the child a smoothie or fruit slices. Cow milk also contains sugar so doctors advice washing the mouth or rising after drinking any type of sugary drink.
Are pacifiers good for your children’s oral health?
Many children are used to using pacifiers or sucking their thumbs and this is not a concern while the baby still doesn’t have teeth. Using a pacifier for a prolonged time can lead to an open bite, crooked teeth, and even speech problems. Pediatric dentists recommend pacifiers only until the child is one year old.
If your baby uses a dummy, there are some methods that you can use to make them use it less over time until they can sleep without one. Never put sweet things on your baby’s pacifier to avoid baby bottle tooth decay.
When to start taking your child to the dentist?
Taking your child to the dentist is important to create a habit and protect the child’s teeth from tooth decay. You should take your baby to the dentist as soon as you see their first baby tooth or around their first birthday.
During your baby’s first consultation the pediatric dentist will check the baby’s gums, bite, and the way the baby teeth are erupting. After the first appointment, the dentist will let you know how regularly should your baby visit the dentist’s office. In general, after the child is 3 years old, they should visit the dentist for a checkup and a cleaning every six months.
Taking your children to the dentist on a regular basis will prevent tooth decay, creates good habits, and gives the doctor the opportunity to correct any problem concerning the children’s teeth on time.
Take into consideration that not all dental clinics offer pediatric dentistry, so make sure to choose the correct one. In Dental Solutions Los Algodones, we have the best specialists in pediatric dentistry that will be glad to take care of your baby’s teeth.
We are members of the American Dental Association and have one of the best board-certified pediatric dentist in the area. Contact us if you are looking for first-quality dental care at the best price.
In case you don’t know Los Algodones is a beautiful border town just after the US-Mexican border. To reach Los Algodones just drive 7 miles southwest of Yuma Arizona and you will be there in a heartbeat