A new baby comes with new concerns you never had to consider before. To help all the current and new parents out there who need questions answered, we’ve summarised a few important things to know regarding your baby’s oral health.
Your babies first teeth
Babies primarily have 20 teeth that are present in their jaws from birth. They generally begin to appear from ages 6 months to a year, though it can vary for each child.
Whilst baby teeth help infants chew, speak and smile, they are a necessity when it comes to holding space in their jaw for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. If a baby’s tooth is lost too early, it is possible the permanent teeth will drift into the empty space. This makes it difficult for the rest of the other adult teeth to find room. As a result, when all the permanent teeth come in, they might be crooked or crowded.
People often forget the importance of baby teeth as they are temporary, however, good infant oral care is crucial as it protects their adult teeth for the rest of their lives!
Your babies first dentist visit
Parents should bring their babies to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth coming in and no later than their first birthday. By coming in, parents can learn about their child’s oral health and how to care for their little ones teeth before problems occur.
Additionally, dentists can check for cavities and other problems, offer nutritional advice, illustrate how to clean your babies teeth correctly and how to handle habits such as thumb sucking.
Why start them young?
Early childhood caries (ECC) is a severe form of cavities that has become quite common in very young children. Decay can spread deep into the tooth, causing pain and infection, even damaging the adult tooth under the gums if not treated properly. Thus, we advise parents to clean their baby’s teeth regularly and limit their sugary drinks and foods.
Caring for your child’s teeth
Parents can clean their baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth.
Their first tooth
When teeth first come in, your baby’s gums will be sore and tender. To soothe this, parents can use a clean finger and gently rub their gums. A small, cool spoon, a wet gauze pad or cool teething ring will also work. If your child is cranky or remaining in pain, consult us at Beachside Dental Care for the best advice!
Children Under 3 years
As decay can occur as soon as teeth appear, begin brushing your child’s teeth immediately using fluoride toothpaste and an infant toothbrush. The quantity of toothpaste should be around the size of a grain of rice. Parents should ensure teeth are brushed twice a day or as directed by a dentist.
From 3 years to 6 years
Kids should be using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth. Similarly, continue brushing twice a day or as directed by a dentist. Parents are advised to supervise kids to ensure teeth are brushed correctly and toothpaste isn’t swallowed. When teeth begin touching, kids should also begin cleaning between their teeth regularly.