Posts for tag: baby teeth
Baby teeth have several vital functions in your child’s mouth and therefore are necessary to keep healthy until they naturally become loose and fall out. Baby teeth help your child with talking, biting, chewing and smiling. Baby teeth are also the space holders for adult teeth, and if they are lost prematurely, they can cause problems with the spacing and alignment of the future adult teeth. Cavities and infections of baby teeth can also cause your child unnecessary pain and distress. Your baby will get their first baby teeth around six months old and lose their last baby teeth around 12 years old, so there are many years of critical care.
Listed below are ways to help keep your child’s smile healthy.
- Even before any teeth erupt in your baby’s mouth, begin by using a damp cloth or gauze to clean their gums before bed
- When the first baby teeth erupt around six months old, start using a small toothbrush with bristles to clean the teeth after milk and before bed
- Never dip their soother in anything sweet
- Only put milk or water in their bottle. Juice has lots of sugar that can lead to cavities
- Try not to put your baby to bed at night with their bottle. The constant bathing of the teeth in milk can cause cavities
- Work at eliminating the soother or thumb sucking habit around the age of 2-3, as both of these habits can cause permanent alignment issues with the teeth and jaw
- Start using fluoridated toothpaste around the age of 3 (all you need is a small dot, about the size of the tip of a pen!)
- Reduce your child’s intake of sugary foods, in particular, any foods that are gummy, chewy or sticky. They get stuck in the biting surfaces of teeth and lead to cavities
- Begin helping your child floss around the age of 4, this is when the contacts in their molars close in, and a toothbrush is no longer sufficient
- If your child is particularly cavity-prone, get them to use a fluoride mouth wash or products containing xylitol, which will help reduce the cavity risk
- Help your child with brushing and flossing until the age of 7 or 8
- If your child has a fall or injury that affects their mouth, or if they complain of pain in their mouth, it is essential for them to see their dentist
- Make sure to bring your child to the dentist for regular check-ups and cleaning appointments with their dentist and dental hygienist. During these visits, their teeth and gums will be assessed, and brushing and flossing will be reviewed
If you have any questions about ways to keep your child’s smile healthy, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
You should expect to see your baby’s first tooth around 6-10 months old. Generally, the first teeth to erupt are the lower front teeth. The eruption pattern for the baby teeth more or less goes from the front teeth to the back teeth except for the canine teeth, which erupt a little later on. The bottom teeth erupt slightly before the top teeth in succession. You should expect to see a full set of 20 baby teeth by 25-33 months old. Around the age of 5-6, the lower front teeth will become loose and fall out while new adult molars will erupt in the back. For the new adult molars, called the first molars, no baby teeth need to fall out so sometimes they go unnoticed. By the age of 12-14, all of the baby teeth should have exfoliated, and the adult teeth will have erupted, apart from the 3rd molars, called the wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth typically erupt around 16-20 years old, if at all.
How to Keep Baby Teeth Healthy
It is essential to keep baby teeth as healthy as possible as they aid in biting, chewing, talking and smiling. Baby teeth are also the precursors for the position of the adult teeth. Adult teeth erupt by resorbing the root of the baby tooth above it, so without the healthy baby tooth, the adult tooth may erupt out of position, leading to crowding and misalignment. Make sure to help your child brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, use a toothpaste containing fluoride beginning at the age of 3 (with a size of a grain of rice) and even have them use a mouthwash containing fluoride if they are cavity prone. It is vital to bring your child in for check-ups and cleanings at least every six months.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Teething
The timing your baby will begin to teeth varies quite widely. Typically, babies will start getting their first teeth around six months old, but this can range from 4-12 months. The first teeth to erupt are the lower incisors (2 lower front teeth) followed by the upper incisors (2 top front teeth.) The first sign that your baby has begun teething is crankiness or irritability. Because it can be sore or itchy when teeth erupt through the gums, this is how your baby may show it. Also, your baby might put objects in their mouth to chew. Drooling is another sign of teething. Sometimes, teething may be associated with a low-grade fever.
Tips To Help With Teething
Use a teething ring – A teething ring is an object, often made out of rubber or a similar material, meant for your baby to hold and bite to help soothe their gums. Make sure you buy a teething ring that is labelled as such and from a reputable brand. Do not make your own or give your baby small items to put in their mouth.
Rub your baby’s gums – Use a finger or a damp cloth to rub or press over the sore spots. This can help alleviate and distract from the discomfort in their gums.
Use cooled objects to soothe sore gums - Reducing the temperature of the gums will reduce the sensation in them, much like icing a rash reducing itching. Use a cold cloth or a teething ring from the fridge to help soothe your baby’s gums.
Over the counter remedies – Depending on the intensity of the teething, it may be beneficial to use over the counter remedies such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Always follow the dosage label.
Once the first tooth is through the gums, it is now time to make sure to keep it clean, as more teeth will follow. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-fluoridated toothpaste to brush twice a day lightly. You can switch over to a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste around three years old. All primary teeth will be erupted by 25 to 33 months old.
If your baby is teething and you have any questions about it, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.