Dental care for baby should start right after birth. After each and every feeding you will want to gently wipe baby’s gums with a clean cloth or gauze to protect your baby’s gums right from the start.
Dental care for your baby starts the day your baby is born, by keeping their gums free from bacteria by using a soft damp cloth on their gums. Once your baby’s first tooth erupts, begin using a soft children’s toothbrush after every feeding. It is important to remember that babies can develop cavities through the use of baby bottles. To prevent exposure to cavities, never give your baby a bottle of milk or juice at nap time or bedtime. Instead, use plain water if your baby must have a bottle.
Your baby’s teeth begin to form before birth, but the first teeth to actually erupt are the two front teeth in the upper and lower gum line. You can expect this some where between 6 and 12 months. The incisors usually come in around 9 to 16 months, but can, in some cases, come in earlier. The canines, those pointy teeth in the upper jaw make their way somewhere around 16 to 23 months. The first set of molars will generally start their eruption 13- to 19 months with the back molars coming in around 22 to 33 months. You should not be concerned if your baby’s teeth come in later than this as this guideline is only an average. By your baby’s 3rd birthday, all 20 baby teeth should be present.
For optimum dental care for baby you will want to begin flossing your baby’s teeth as soon as two teeth start to touch. Use a soft floss, such as Glide so that it is comfortable for your baby. Floss for your baby until they have developed the dexterity to do this on their own. Be sure to teach them the importance of flossing.
It is a good idea to bring your baby into the dentist’s office when the first tooth erupts, but certainly before their 1st birthday. It is also a good idea to prepare your little one for the dental visit so that they do not fear this experience. Tell them that someone who cares about them is going to look at their teeth. We will examine your child’s mouth to determine any signs of cavities or other dental health issues.
Good nutrition plays a significant role in developing healthy teeth. Many of the snacks and fast foods that children eat today are causing the cavities. Try to choose health snacks such as carrot sticks, cheese, or yogurt.
The outer-most layer of the tooth is the enamel. It is the hardest substance in the human body. The enamel was designed by mother nature to protect the teeth from decay. Fluoride, which is a naturally occurring substance, can actually strengthen the enamel and make the teeth much more resistant to cavities and decay.
Fluoride can be found in some drinking water and toothpastes. We can also provide additional fluoride treatments in our office if needed, but to much fluoride can cause problems such as a change in the structure of the tooth’s enamel which can cause discoloration of the teeth. It is important to note that children below the age of 2 should not use toothpaste which contains fluoride.
You new baby is a precious gift. Provide your baby with good oral health right from the beginning. Dental care for baby will start out their new life on the right foot.
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