Your child will begin to get their baby teeth anywhere from 5-10 months old, and the last of their baby teeth will stick around until the age of 11-13 years old. That means that baby teeth are around for a long time and must be kept healthy with the help of parents or guardians.
Cavities and infections in baby teeth can lead to long-term adverse effects such as pain and trauma, misalignment of the adult teeth, space and bite problems and even issues with speaking, chewing and confidence.
The first baby teeth to erupt will likely be the two bottom front central teeth, followed by the top central teeth. The eruption will follow this pattern until a complete set of 20 baby teeth has erupted around two and a half years old. The last baby teeth to fall out (exfoliate) will be the back molars and may occur later for boys than girls. It is vital to keep baby teeth healthy to encourage healthy adult teeth and a better quality of life for your child.
Be sure to help with your child’s oral care until they are 7 or 8 years old. Begin brushing your child’s teeth with a small toothbrush and water as soon as they begin to erupt. You can incorporate a small amount (around the size of a grain of rice) size of fluoride toothpaste when your child hits three years old, or they can spit. You can also use floss between your child’s teeth if and when there is contact between teeth. Flossing helps prevent cavities from forming between teeth and keeps their gums healthy.
Your child should be consuming a healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients to maintain healthy teeth. Reducing sugar and simple carbohydrates such as white bread and crackers will help reduce the likelihood of cavities. Particularly bad foods for your child to consume are sticky and chewy candy and sugary drinks such as soda. If your child consumes something sweet, be sure to provide them water to drink or rinse with after, which will help clear the mouth of harmful sugars and acids.
In addition, be sure to bring your child routinely to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings. At these visits, your child’s teeth will be checked for cavities, gum health will be assessed, and any oral care tips can be provided. If you have any questions, please contact us to make an appointment today.