Posts for tag: baby teeth
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.
How do I brush my child’s teeth?
Proper oral hygiene should begin as soon as teeth start to erupt, generally around six months. Oral health can start with a wet cloth, wiping the gums and front teeth. Once the molars start to erupt (around age 1) a proper, child-sized toothbrush should be used at least twice a day. The bristles are needed to mechanically disrupt plaque so it cannot harden into calculus or tartar. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using a fluoride-containing toothpaste before all 20 teeth have erupted. For children 0-2 years, a rice-grain-sized amount is sufficient, after age 2, the amount should resemble the size of a pea. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities and remineralizes tooth surfaces.
Is flossing necessary before adult teeth come?
Daily flossing should start once teeth start to contact each other. If teeth are all spaced, the toothbrush should clean in between sufficiently, however, once the contact areas close, only floss can reach in between to disrupt bacteria. Flossing is not just to remove stuck food, it also helps clean between the teeth to prevent cavities and cleans below the gums to prevent gum disease.
My child is very difficult, how am I supposed to brush their teeth?!
The sooner a regular habit of brushing and flossing is established, the more compliant most children are. Brushing can often be a struggle at first as the oral cavity can be a sensitive area, but as with most things, children usually respond well to routines. Some tips for more difficult children
can include: brushing teeth with child’s head in parents’ lap, swaddling busy children in a towel or blanket, having one parent distract with songs, books, shows while the other parent completes the brushing or reward charts for older children.
Can my child brush their own teeth?
Children need to build dexterity and skills over several years before they are capable of doing their own home care. Some basic guidelines to assess your child’s ability to use a toothbrush and floss properly include: being able to tie their own shoes, using a fork and knife to cut their food correctly and being able to write clearly with a pen or pencil. In general, boys take longer to build the proper manual dexterity to brush and floss on their own.
Besides brushing and flossing, how can I help protect their teeth?
Limiting a child’s consumption of processed, high sugar foods is one of the easiest ways to prevent decay. A diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy fats will aid in overall health as well as excellent oral health. Children should only drink milk and water, sweetened beverages such as juice and pop can rapidly destroy tooth enamel, resulting in cavities and staining.
Making oral hygiene an important habit, just like any other self-care habit such as eating healthy and exercising can shape a child’s future self into a positive, happy and healthy one. Contact us to schedule an appointment or to get more information.