With four kids having gone through the pains of teething, I’ve been there. I’ve learned a thing or two about how to care for baby teeth, and so far none of my kids have had any cavities!
To help you as you go through these firsts with your own kids, I’ve consulted with a local pediatric dentist about baby teeth tips. They gave me lots of useful advice on tooth eruption, symptoms, signs and early care so that the transition to a full mouth of healthy teeth can be an easier one for you and your child!
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Baby Teeth Tips
When Do Babies First Get Teeth?
Many parents wonder what to expect when their babies begin teething. People usually think of a newborn baby as having no teeth, but the 20 primary (baby) teeth will erupt in the next two and a half years are already present in the baby’s jaw at birth.
Baby teeth are just as important as permanent teeth — for chewing, speaking, and appearance. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. Learning how to care for baby teeth can be very important in setting the stage for when those permanent teeth come in.
Oral Hygiene and Babies
Proper oral hygiene is one of the most vital concerns for children. Along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts.
The pediatric dentists at First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics encourage parents to schedule their children’s first appointment during this time — and here are a few reasons why:
“We recommend that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts.”
Avoid Early Tooth Decay
As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. While children ultimately end up losing their first set of teeth, the health of those teeth is crucial for general health and proper speech development.
Furthermore, early tooth decay can significantly complicate the development of healthy adult teeth and causes other problems.
Sometimes if a primary tooth is lost too early, nearby teeth can tip or shift into the vacant space causing the new tooth to emerge in an abnormal position.
Some Common Teething Symptoms
- Trying to bite, chew and suck on everything
- Ear pulling and cheek rubbing
- Refusal to feed
- Red and swollen gums
- Waking more at night
How To Care For Baby Teeth
Some babies experience sore or tender gums as teeth begin to erupt. To comfort a teething child, gently massage the gums with: a clean finger; a small, chilled spoon or teething ring; or a clean, moist gauze pad or cloth.
I’ve used these toothbrushes and teethers in the past and they work great:
I also have teething necklaces so that baby can grab and chew when we are on the go and they work wonderfully, these are my favorites:
Your dentist or pediatrician may recommend a pacifier or special “numbing” salve for the gums.
When the child’s teeth erupt, brush them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a little warm water to help brush away the plaque.
Why choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Like a pediatrician, pediatric dentists specialize in the oral health care of children from infancy through adolescence. Pediatric dentists also attend 2-3 additional years of specialized training in children’s behavior, growth, and development.
Wisconsin Pediatric Dentist
A big thanks to First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics for helping to facilitate this post about how to care for baby teeth. If you are in Wisconsin, you can find more information about their offices by heading here.
About First Impressions
To help with their children’s anxiety, First Impressions’ pediatric dental offices are filled with primary colors and incorporate large play areas, popular TV programs, permanent Xbox or Playstation videogame stations, iPads and areas where families can sit together and read.
If it’s time to schedule your child’s first dental appointment, First Impressions Pediatric Dentistry invites you to see why they’re one of the top pediatric dental offices in Wisconsin with pediatric offices in Wausau, Weston, Plover, Rhinelander, Medford, Shawano, Green Bay and Appleton.