Baby teeth (primary teeth) begin to come in around 7-12 months. Baby teeth typically begin to fall out in the early elementary years (5-7 years old) and the first adult teeth (permanent teeth) come in. All baby teeth will fall out in time, but as a parent you still need to help your child care for their baby teeth and establish good dental habits that will carry with them as they age.
Failing to take proper care of your children’s teeth can lead to cavities, tooth pain, infection, gum disease, and worse. These tips from your pediatric dentist will help keep your child’s mouth clean and healthy!
First off, you should know if you have an infant that the primary teeth are already in place, under the surface. They haven’t come through the gums yet. It’s possible to get cavities in these teeth and this is just one more important reason to care for your baby’s teeth appropriately. It’s an investment in your child’s long-term oral health.
Before Teeth Grow In
There is quite a bit that you can do to care for baby teeth. One of the most important things to do is to keep your infant from falling asleep while he or she is sucking on a baby bottle. As a handy tip, the last thing in your toddler’s mouth before sleep should be water. You can gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger wrapped in gauze to keep the mouth clean.
Child Dental Care
Once your baby’s teeth begin to grow, practice daily brushing with a clean finger wrapped in gauze – no toothpaste. You will be responsible for brushing your child’s teeth until they are 4-5 years old, possibly older. Regular flossing should begin once adjacent teeth grow in. Schedule regular dental checkups with your pediatric dentist for your baby once their teeth come in, just to make sure everything is progressing well.
Aside from brushing and flossing, there are other things you can do to encourage good habits. Educate your child about the risks of sugary, sticky, crunchy foods like caramel, hard candy, and chips. Encourage them to eat healthy, mouth-friendly foods like carrots, almonds, yogurt, and leafy greens. Serve water, not juice or carbonated drinks.
Getting in the habit of taking your child to the pediatric dentist will be beneficial to your child and give you greater peace of mind. Book an appointment for all your pediatric dentistry needs and get your child started on the path of proper dental care.