We believe that taking care of children's baby teeth and teaching them about oral hygiene at a young age lays the foundation for lifelong oral health.
Your child develops and learns new skills every day. Early care of your toddler's baby teeth and smiles is critical, as these years can lay the foundation for lifelong oral health. We'll talk about the importance of baby teeth today, as well as how you can help your child maintain a healthy smile.
Why are baby teeth important?
You might be wondering why baby teeth are important given that they are not permanent and will fall out eventually. The first baby teeth, which are usually the front bottom teeth, break through the gums around the age of six months. Around the age of three, the last baby teeth in the back of the mouth and upper jaw should appear, and your child should have ten top teeth and ten bottom teeth.
Baby teeth serve a variety of purposes in our young patients' mouths. They're for talking, eating, and lighting up the room with a thousand-watt smile. In a child's mouth, baby teeth also serve as placeholders for adult teeth in the jaws.
Around age 6, your child should begin to lose their first baby tooth and adult teeth will start to emerge. The timing of this tooth loss is critical. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, contact your child's dentist about how the correct space can be kept in the mouth so the adult teeth will erupt normally.
How should I take care of baby teeth?
Now is the time to create a solid oral health care routine for your child. By combining at-home care with regular dental visits, you can help keep your child's smile healthy.
Brush twice per day (morning and night) to prevent cavities.
Wipe your newborn's mouth with a wet pad or cloth to keep it clean. For children under the age of three, use a rice-sized grain of child-friendly toothpaste on an ultra-soft toothbrush. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on children aged 3 and up.
Once your child can spit out all of the toothpaste after brushing, switch to fluoridated toothpaste (ask your dentist before switching). Brush your child's teeth with him or her until each tooth is thoroughly cleaned.
Visit your child's dentist regularly
Before their child turns one year old, parents should schedule their child's first dental visit. By this time, the first baby tooth should have erupted. We'll look for plaque and cavities in your child's mouth, let you know when his or her next tooth is due, and show you how to care for your child's teeth at home. Children should visit the dentist every six months for a professional checkup and cleaning.
Limit sugary or acidic treats
High levels of acid and sugar in soda and fruit juice can harm your child's baby teeth. Sugary treats, such as candy, should also be avoided because it weakens tooth enamel and increases the risk of cavities in your child.
Look into dental sealants for your child
Sealants are special coatings that are applied to the pits and grooves of a child's molars (back teeth). These help to prevent cavities on the biting surfaces of teeth. Sealants may be recommended by your dentist if your child is at high risk for cavities.
Check into fluoride treatment
Fluoride is a proactive measure to help protect your child's teeth from cavities.
Once all the baby teeth have erupted, start flossing. There are special flossers for kids.
This is general advice. Certain children may have special circumstances and may need to see the dentist more often for checkups or cleanings.