Taking care of oral health is always important, even with young babies! In most cases, baby teeth erupt anywhere from ages 6 to 12 months. Teething can be painful for a baby, so its helpful to know a few tips for soothing your baby when his or her teeth start to make their appearance. You can gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger or clean, wet cloth to soothe the gums, as well as offering teething rings. Try to avoid teething biscuits as these are not recommended due to the sugar they contain that can be bad for baby’s teeth.

Baby bottle decay is important to be on the lookout for while your baby is teething. When examining your child’s teeth, look for spots or lines that appear dull, or whiter than the tooth’s surface. This should be checked every two weeks. Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth that contains anything but water. When the sugar from the liquid interacts with the bacteria in his or her mouth, it produces an acid that is harmful to tooth enamel and can lead to tooth decay. When your child is awake, his or her saliva will counteract this acid by washing it away. Since saliva flow is significantly decreased while sleeping, this acid can sit in the mouth for an extended period of time, damaging the tooth enamel. By not putting your child to bed with a bottle, you can help him or her avoid any unnecessary tooth decay.

Infant’s New Teeth

Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, are important in a child’s development. Not only do baby teeth allow your child to learn to eat and speak properly, but they also help in the development of the jaws and the alignment of secondary, or permanent teeth. If your child looses a tooth prematurely or is missing some primary teeth, we may recommend a space maintainer to ensure that the development and alignment of the permanent teeth are not affected. Always mention any missing teeth to your dentist during your child’s regular check ups, and help your child maintain a healthy, consistent dental hygiene routine.

A Child’s First Dental Visit

Your child should receive his or her first dental exam after he or she turns 1 year old. It is important for your child to feel comfortable at the dentist’s office, so we like to establish that familiarity early on so that we can earn your child’s trust. We always ask that you accompany your child in the exam room to help him or her be more comfortable and allow us to educate you on our recommendations for your child’s dental health. We encourage our patients to express and discuss any anxiety they may have about coming to the dentist so that we can work through those fears together and help your child feel comfortable.

Why Primary Teeth Are Important

Primary teeth are very important in a child’s development. Not only do they allow a child to learn to eat solid foods and speak clearly, but they also help guide secondary teeth into place and help with jaw development. They also help give your child that happy, healthy looking smile that you love so much!

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

A well- balanced diet can also help with the development of a healthy smile and mouth. By eating a variety of foods from each of the 5 main food groups, your child can help minimize the risk of developing cavities. Be sure to offer only healthy snacks to your child like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheese. Other snacks can cause cavities and are not helpful in promoting healthy, strong teeth.

Infant Tooth Eruption

It is not uncommon for a baby to be born with baby teeth. However, most babies begin teething at 4 months of age. When the baby teeth erupt, the lower central incisors come first followed by the upper central incisors. While every child develops at his or her own pace, the remaining baby teeth may not come in until the age of 3. By the time your child is 6 years old, he or she will begin receiving permanent teeth. The first molars are the first to erupt followed by the lower central incisors. Permanent teeth development and eruption will continue throughout his or her childhood and into adulthood, usually until the age of 21. A fully developed set of teeth consist of 28 secondary or permanent teeth and 4 wisdom teeth.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

It is important to examine your baby’s teeth every two weeks for signs of tooth decay. Most infant tooth decay is a result of the child falling asleep with a breast or bottle in his or her mouth, and the liquid not being properly rinsed from the mouth. If your child needs to exercise the sucking reflex to fall asleep, instead give him an orthodontic pacifier. If you see signs of baby bottle decay in your child’s mouth, please contact us today.