Baby teeth equally need care and attention
Caring for baby teeth or baby dental care is essential in your baby’s overall health. Baby teeth are also known as milk teeth, primary teeth, temporary teeth, and deciduous teeth.
Children, generally, begin having baby teeth at about 6-months old. Your child should have his complete set of baby teeth by the age of 3. The lower front baby teeth usually appear first, and then proceeded by the top front baby teeth. There should be 10 baby teeth in the upper jaw and another 10 in the lower jaw.
Baby dental care is essential as it helps your child eat and aids in creating sounds and words.
Substandard oral care can result to disease, infection, and other dental issues. It can also affect the child’s jaw growth. More importantly, good oral care sets very good dental habits as your child grows.
Teething is the process of your baby getting his teeth during his baby teething age. This is when you would notice your child drooling more often and, in addition, show the desire to nibble on things. Teething may be painless for some babies but it may be inconvenient for others as it may incur soreness. In addition, the latter may suffer loss of appetite and even sleeping issues.
You can help your baby feel better while he is teething if you let him chew on a sanitary chilled teething ring or toy, or a clean wet face cloth.
Cookies, biscuits, or crackers are not good options as they can cause tooth decay in the long run since they can stick your child’s teeth. Contrary to popular belief, baby teeth growth does not cause fevers. Check with your doctor if your child suffers from fever and/or diarrhea while teething.
In addition, it would be a good idea to consult a health professional if you consider using teething ointments or gels, or other teething items.
You may clean your baby’s gums with wet wash cloth or gauze at least once per day; although, doing it after feedings is recommended too. Do the same once they start teething. Start using a soft baby toothbrush with purified of distilled water when your child is from 1 to 2 years old. Also, use toothpaste for your child but make sure that it has NO fluoride just yet. Children this young tend to swallow toothpaste while brushing; therefore, it is best to buy this type of toothpastes. You may start flossing them gently at this point.
Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and Canadian Dental Association suggest that children may visit their dentist at around 1 year old.
But the latter advocates earlier, such as after your child’s first tooth appears, if needed. The first visit to the dentist is a great time to consult him about infant dental care. Taking your child to the dentist this early can help him be more comfortable in future trips for dental care. It will inevitably establish the good dental habit of regularly seeing your dentist. Everyone should visit their dentist twice a year.
Why are baby teeth called milk teeth?
Milk teeth are called as such because they resemble the color of milk. They are also whiter than adult teeth.
Other baby tooth eruption facts:
- About four teeth will erupt for every 6 months of life as a general rule of thumb.
- Girls generally have tooth eruption ahead of boys.
- Lower teeth comes before upper teeth.
- Teeth in both jaws usually come out in pairs — one on each side.
- Milk teeth are than the permanent teeth that follow.
- All primary teeth should have erupted by the time the child reaches 2 to 3 years old.
Tips that can help with your baby’s teething discomfort.
- Use cold teething ring or a cold wash cloth for your baby to chew or suck on.
- Rub your clean finger on your child’s gums to give it a gentle massage effect.
- Check with your doctor if you can give your baby infant acetaminophen. Do not give aspirin to your baby. Aspirin can cause Reye’s syndrome which can be fatal for children under 18 years old.
- Consult your doctor before you consider using teething gels or tablets.
What about pacifiers?
Pacifiers are given at times to babies during rest or sleep. If you decide to give your baby a pacifier, here are a few tips:
- Make sure that breastfeeding is well-established
- Choose the right size pacifier for your child’s mouth
- Check the pacifier nipple often – discard when it is sticky, cracked or torn
- Keep the pacifier clean
- No need to dip the pacifier in honey or other sweet or sugary substances that can cause tooth decay
- Limit the use of pacifier to nap time or bed by the time your child reaches 1 to 2 years old
Note: Pacifiers are not recommended once all baby teeth have grown in. This generally happens when your child reaches 3 years old. The regular use of a pacifier may affect the child’s speech development and progress.
Questions to ask your dentist about baby dental care:
- What toothbrush type is the best?
- Can I let my child use mouthwash?
- How often should I take my child to see the dentist?
- Are dental X-rays necessary and safe for my child?
- Is chewing gum okay for my child?
When to seek immediate care from your dentist:
- Your child has tooth or mouth infection.
- Your child loses a permanent tooth. You may still save it or reattach it if: you find the tooth, put it in milk, and take it to the dentist.
What Des Moines Dental Group Says About Caring for Baby Teeth
Baby teeth should be every parent’s priority even before they emerge. They are the first factors in the mouth that visibly require dental care. Your dentist is still your go-to person for even the tiniest details on cleaning and caring for baby teeth. Seek your dentist’s expertise on caring for baby teeth especially when they begin to show up. Get sound advice and insights from the best dental experts in Iowa. Visit our Urbandale clinic or get an appointment at 2333 McKinley Ave Des Moines, IA 50321. Got any questions about oral health habits or need any help with what you have? Visit www.dmdentalgroup.com or call us at 515-512-5377 or 515-512-5339.