It’s rewarding to watch your baby grow and develop. But it can also be frustrating if you’re trying to learn everything at once as a new parent. As a family dental practice, we’re always more than happy to help parents learn more about their baby’s first teeth.
Your baby’s first teeth are important because they hold space for their permanent teeth. They’ll also help your child with eating, speaking, and other important steps for their development.
Here’s what you need to know.
Wipe Down Your Baby’s Gums
Even if your baby is currently toothless, it’s important that you keep up with their oral hygiene needs. Wipe down your baby’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth after every feeding and before they go to sleep for the night. That way, plaque won’t have a chance to build up on their gums.
plaque can harden into tartar and lead to oral health issues. Even though your child doesn’t have teeth, their gums are just as important for maintaining a healthy mouth.
Brush and Floss Your Baby’s Teeth
The bottom two front teeth are the first to erupt, typically around 6 to 10 months of age. Once your baby gets their first tooth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. If possible, choose a toothbrush that’s specifically designed for infants.
For babies, use a rice-sized smear of toothpaste. Once your child is three years old, you may use a pea-sized glob of toothpaste.
Don’t let your baby swallow any toothpaste. Gently tilt their head forward while you brush so the toothpaste can dribble out of their mouth and onto a bib or soft cloth.
Once your child becomes a toddler, they may want to brush their own teeth. But it’s important that you still continue to brush their teeth for them. That way, you can be sure that their teeth are getting a proper brushing twice a day. Have your toddler spit out any excess toothpaste into the sink.
If your toddler insists on brushing their own teeth, have them practice after you’re done brushing for them.
Start flossing your baby’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that touch each other. This will help prevent plaque from building up between teeth and causing cavities.
Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Appointment
Therecommends that your child see a dentist once they get their first baby tooth or by their first birthday.
We’ll keep your child’s first visit with us simple. One of our dentists will do a quick examination of their teeth and gums to ensure everything looks healthy. They’ll then discuss what you can expect next with your child’s dental development and answer any questions you may have.
After your child’s first appointment, they’ll need to continue seeing a dentist every 6 months for a routine teeth cleaning and oral examination.
Learn More: What to Expect During a Teeth Cleaning →
Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle propped up next to them. Likewise, avoid always using a bottle to soothe a fussy baby. These habits can lead to a condition called.
Baby bottle tooth decay happens when your baby’s teeth are exposed to sugary drinks for an extended period of time. As such, we recommend that you avoid fruit juice and other beverages that are loaded with sugar.
Request an Appointment With Us
Still have questions about your baby’s first teeth? Our family dentists in Northville, MI, are accepting new patients. As such, they’d be more than happy to welcome you and your child to our practice.
Preventive dental care is vital to your child’s wellbeing as they grow up and their oral health needs change. A dentist is you and your child’s partner in maintaining a healthy smile for life.